Dozen NIA sleuths and several cops wake up sleeping family, ruffle everything, take away phones, laptop, papers
SRINAGAR: Soon after getting police remand of Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yousuf, sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) together with cops from J&K Police raided his house in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, in the dark of pre-dawn hours.
Sources said that at around 4am on Thursday, a dozen NIA sleuths accompanied by policemen arrived at the two-storey residential house of Shahid Yousuf, the third son of Salahuddin.
“The whole area where the house of Shahid is located was filled with government forces before the NIA raid,” a close relative of Shahid told Kashmir Reader.
He said that a cop of the rank of sub-inspector rang the bell at the main door many times before the younger brother of Shahid woke up and was informed about the search warrant for the house.
Salahuddin, founder of Hizbul Mujahudeen and chief of the United Jehad Council (UJC), has five sons and two daughters, all of whom are married and live on this side of the Line of Control (LoC).
42-year-old Shahid, who was first questioned four times in Srinagar before being summoned to Delhi, where he was arrested on Tuesday, lives in a joint house with two of his younger brothers.
“The policemen had jumped over the boundary wall,” Shahid’s relative said.
He said that besides the families of the three brothers, their younger sister, a cousin, and a nephew had come to stay for the night.
“The NIA sleuths searched every corner of the house, from ground floor to balcony,” he said. “No almirah, no box was left untouched.”
“They took some papers and certificates as well. We are yet to figure which documents they have taken away,” he said.
The NIA sleuths included some women as well.
The relative added, “They took away five cellphones, including that of Shahid’s two brothers, his younger sister, Shahid’s cousin and of his nephew.”
The search continued for 2 hours and fifteen minutes, he said.
“Shahid has been provided a laptop by his department for official work,” he said. “The NIA sleuths took away this laptop, along with 2 hard disks.”
Shahid is a government officer in the agriculture department and is currently posted in his native area.
Sources said that Shahid’s family was told by the NIA officials to collect their mobile phones from NIA’s Humhama station. “But when some of our relatives went there, they had to wait for at least three hours after which they were told that the recoveries made from Shahid’s house have been seized and sealed, and they will be sent to Delhi,” the relative said. “The relatives returned with some irrelevant photos and nothing else.”
Soon after NIA had secured custody of Shahid from a special Delhi court, his family had rejected the allegations levelled against him.
“Shahid’s family is feeling insecure since his arrest and now the raid on his house,” a close relative said.
The NIA in its statement before special judge Poonam A Bamba on Wednesday said that they wanted Shahid in a case dating to 2011, RC-06/2011/NLA/DLI. The agency accused Shahid of receiving money from an alleged Hizbul Mujahideen member, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat, who lives in Saudi Arabia.
NIA officials confirmed that a team of their sleuths carried out searches at Shahid’s residence at Soibugh in Budgam district and seized his five mobile phones, a laptop, and some “incriminating” documents.