Kamran Yousuf, Zahoor Watali, Javed Ahmad, Peer Saifullah, Nayeem Khan, Bitta Karate, Geelani’s son-in-law feature in chargesheet alongside Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin
Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against 12 Kashmiris for allegedly conspiring to wage war against the Government of India (GOI) by carrying out “terrorist and secessionist activities in the state of Jammu & Kashmir”.
The NIA filed the chargesheet in the agency’s special court located at Patiala House Courts Complex, Delhi. The chargesheeted persons include militant commanders, Hurriyat leaders, and civilians accused of routing money to the Hurriyat through hawala channels.
The NIA chargesheet has named Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the head of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), as the number one accused, closely followed by the Hizbul Mujahideen’s supreme commander Syed Salahuddin, also the chairman of the United Jehad Council (UJC).
Among the persons who have been chargesheeted is the media advisor of Hurriyat (Mirwaiz), Shahid-ul Islam. He has been described as the strategist for the pro-freedom group by the NIA.
The NIA has also chargesheeted son-in-law of Syed Ali Geelani and the “secretary and strategist” of the group, Altaf Ahmad Fantoosh. The Chairman of the National Front, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (R)’s Bitta Karate, the Spokesperson/Media Advisor of Hurriyat (Geelani) Mohammad Akbar Khanday, the District President of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) Mehrajuddin Kalwal, and Hurriyat (G) secretary Peer Saifullah are among others named in the NIA chargesheet.
Well-known businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, described as a “Hawala conduit” by the NIA, and Javed Ahmad Bhat, identified as a “stone-pelter”, have also been chargesheeted.
The NIA has identified photojournalisy Kamran Yusuf as a stone-pelter and he has also been chargesheeted.
The NIA stated in the 12,794-page chargesheet that the accused have been charged under sections 120B, 121, 121A and 124A of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The NIA registered the case in May 2017 and the first arrest was made in July 2017.
Giving summary of the investigations, NIA stated it conducted searches at over 60 locations spread across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi during which it seized over “950 incriminating documents and over 600 electronic devices”.
“Over 300 witnesses were examined,” it stated.
The NIA claimed that during the scrutiny and analysis of the documents and digital devices, it was established that the “accused persons are carrying out terrorist attacks and orchestrating violence, stone-pelting and other subversive and secessionist activities” in Jammu & Kashmir.
They agency alleged that such activities were being planned with the active support of militant organisations and agencies based in Pakistan.
The NIA claimed in its chargesheet that Hurriyat leaders have established a network of cadres throughout Kashmir Valley “who incite the youth to attack all symbols of Indian sovereignty, especially Indian security forces deployed for the maintenance of law and order”.
It claimed that under instructions from Hafiz Sayeed, Syed Salahuddin and “their Pakistani handlers”, the accused pro-freedom leaders and alleged stone-pelters named in the chargesheet formed strategies and action-plans to launch “violent protests and communicate the same to the masses in the form of ‘protest calendars’ released through newspapers, social media and religious leaders, creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in the state.”
The NIA chargesheet stated that its investigation based on scientific and oral evidence has conclusively established that the accused were receiving funds from Pakistani agencies through hawala conduits from likes of Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali. It also stated that funds were also raised by generating illegal profits from LoC barter trade by doing “under-invoicing and cash-dealings”.
The NIA stated that money was also routed through “fake and bogus” companies floated abroad and “remitted to the Hurriyat leaders”.
“All these funds are then pumped by them into fuelling mass violence and terrorist activities in Kashmir,” the chargesheet alleged.