NIA opposes photojournalist Kamran Yusuf’s bail

NIA opposes photojournalist Kamran Yusuf’s bail
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New Delhi: The NIA on Thursday told a Delhi court that a freelance photojournalist, arrested last year for alleged stone-pelting and other offences in Kashmir Valley, was acting as a conduit to those involved in terror funding.
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) opposed the bail application of Kamran Yusuf before Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat, saying the allegations levelled against him were “serious”.
“He (Yusuf) was working as a conduit to those raising funds and facilitating their motives. It was all part of a larger conspiracy,” special public prosecutor and senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for NIA, said.
The agency alleged that Yusuf was an active participant in stone pelting and raising anti-national slogans and that there were some WhatsApp groups which showed he was having links with the militant outfits.
The counsel also objected to the defence lawyer calling Jammu and Kashmir a ‘conflict-zone’.
“Okay, let us call it a law and order issue,” advocate Warisha Farasat, appearing for the accused, said.
The accused sought relief saying he was working as a journalist and his presence at various stone pelting sites was merely because he was covering those incidents.
“He (Yusuf) is a young boy and trying to establish his career as a photojournalist,” Farasat said.
The court has reserved its order for tomorrow when it will also pass direction on taking cognisance on the charge sheet filed by the NIA against against 12 people including Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin.
Yusuf, a resident of Pulwama, was arrested in September last year along with one Javed Ahmed Bhat, a Kulgam resident, by the NIA in continuation of its probe in the funding of terror and separatist activities in the Valley.
According to the agency, both were involved in stone- pelting incidents besides organising groups of youths who would throw stones at security personnel involved in counter- insurgency operations.