A Delhi court on Monday extended the NIA custody of Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali to five days. Watali, was arrested for allegedly collecting money from Pakistan-based militant outfits for Hurriyat leaders operating in Kashmir.
According to the reports, district Judge Poonam A Bamba, in an in-chamber proceeding, passed the order after the agency sought ten days custody of Watali for further interrogation.
The matter came before the court after the 10-day NIA custody granted to him earlier ended today. The agency had earlier told the court that it had found various suspicious documents from the accused during the searches, including details of bank accounts and cash received by him from various terror outfits.
Watali was arrested from the National Capital New Delhi on 16 August afternoon. Ahead of his arrest, several places in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla belonging to the relatives and employees of Watali were raided by the NIA.
Meanwhile, NIA yesterday again raided the company premises of Watali in Srinagar. The investigating agency searched Trison Farms & Construction Pvt Ltd office in Srinagar’s Barbarshah on Sunday. The company is owned by Zahoor Watali.
According to the sources Watali has been under the NIA scanner for nearly two months and has been called for repeated questioning at the agency’s Delhi headquarters before formally arresting him.
Pertinently, seven Hurriyat leaders were earlier detained by the investigating agency, probing funds coming from Pakistan and other Gulf countries.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Fantoosh along with top leaders of the Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference Peer Saifullah, Meraj-ud-din Kalwal and Ayaz Akbar Banday were formally arrested by NIA on July 24.
The separatist leaders are currently lodged in a jail in Delhi along with other leaders Aftab Hilal Shah alias Shahidul Islam, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate and Geelani’s former confidante Nayeem Khan.
Meanwhile, another separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah has been detained separately in connection with a money-laundering case previously registered by Enforcement Directorate and has been remanded to judicial custody in New Delhi. Shah’s one accomplice is also in the custody of the ED.
Meanwhile, the NIA on Monday questioned Naeem Geelani and Naseem Geelani, sons of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, in connection with its ongoing probe into the alleged terror funding case.
The two brothers appeared at the NIA headquarters in central Delhi past 10 a.m.
Beside Geelani’s sons, Ghulam Nabi Bhatt, a pro-freedom activist, was also being questioned by the counter-terror agency.
On Saturday, the NIA had summoned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Noor Muhammad Kalwal to appear before it on Monday.
On Thursday and Friday also, the NIA had questioned Geelani’s sons for over seven hours.