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Funding case: NIA arrests Syed Salahuddin’s second son too

Srinagar, Aug 30: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has arrested Syed Shakeel Yousuf, the second son of Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin. Shakeel was arrested Wednesday night from his Rambagh residence in Srinagar in connection with a militancy funding case.

“In an operation today morning, the NIA team along with the CRPF and local police, arrested Shakeel s/o Syed Salahuddin from Rambagh Srinagar in a terror funding case,” NIA said in a statement.

A senior lab technician at Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Shakeel is the second son of Salahuddin to be arrested by the NIA. His older son Syed Shahid Yousuf was arrested by the agency in October last year in the same case. Shahid was a government employee in Jammu and Kashmir’s Agriculture department.

Pakistan based Syed Salahuddin is the Supreme Commander of J-K’s largest indigenous militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen. He is also the chairman of United Jihad Council (UJC), an umbrella group of militant outfits operating in the valley.

The NIA alleged Shakeel used to receive funds through a US-based international wire transfer company from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, another accused in the case who is absconding and based in Saudi Arabia

The agency alleged Shakeel was “one of several Indian contacts of Bhat” who had been in telephonic contact with him for receiving money transfer codes

The case, registered by the NIA in April 2011, relates to transfer of money from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through hawala channels via Delhi, which the agency believed was used in funding militancy.

The NIA has so far filed two charge sheets against six people including G M Bhat, Mohammed Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga. All four are in judicial custody

Two others — Mohammed Maqbool Pandit and Bhat — were also charge sheeted by the NIA but are absconding. An Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued against them.

The NIA had also registered two other cases related to the funding — one in November 2011 and the other in May this year.

The agency had filed a charge sheet against 10 people including Syed Salahuddin in the April 2011 case.

In the recent case, the NIA arrested 10 people including some close relatives and aides of Geelani.