New Delhi, Sep 14:The Supreme Court Friday stayed a Delhi High Court order that granted bail to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali in a case where he was accused of funding militant organisations
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud considered the submissions of National Investigation Agency (NIA) that the release of Watali would cause “grave harm to the ongoing probe” in the funding case.
The NIA was represented by Attorney General K KVenugopal and Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh.
The bench has now fixed the plea of NIA filed against the Delhi High Court verdict for hearing on September 26 and asked the accused businessman to file his response in the meantime..
Only Thursday, the Delhi High Court had granted the businessman bail and observed that nothing has been shown to suggest that his trade was “geared toward funding ofmilitant activities”. Watali was arrested by the NIA in a funding case involving militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed among others.
“The documents (seized in the case) do not enable this court to prima facie conclude, as the trial court has in its order stated, that appellant (Watali) received money from A-1 (LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed) or PHC (Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi) or others and was passing on the said funds to the Hurriyat leaders for funding terrorist activities and stone pelting,” the High Court said.
“The court is not satisfied at this stage that there is prima facie material to show the involvement of Watali in any criminal conspiracy with the other accused, justifying the accusations for the offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC or sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against India), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war), or 124-A (sedition) of the IPC,” the bench said.
Watali was arrested on August 17, 2017 and chargesheeted by the NIA on January 18 along with the head of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hafiz Saeed, and the head of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Sayeed Salahudeen, along with 10 others.
All the accused were chargesheeted under stringent anti-terror laws, for allegedly hatching a conspiracy with Saeed and Salahuddin to wage a war against India. Earlier, Kamran Yusuf, a photojournalist and Javed Ahmad Bhatt a hawker of home appliances, were granted regular bail after the chargesheet was filed. Only Hafiz Saeed and Salahudeen have not been arrested in the case.
Mehbooba red-flags ‘arming residents’ in Chenab valley
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday flayed Centre and state governments for their plans to “arm civilians” in sensitive Chenab Valley saying that such attempt will set a dangerous trend.
“Reports about administration trying to arm civilians under the garb of creating Village Defence Committees in Chenab Valley are disturbing and alarming especially at the time when the government has to be inclusive to avoid further alienation of youth across the state,” Mehbooba said in a statement.
She said that similar experiments of “arming civilians” under anti-militancy grid in 90s led to “complete chaos.”
“The wounds inflicted upon the general masses due to such move are still fresh.
“In communally sensitive areas like Chenab Valley the plans are fraught with only dangerous consequences,” she said.
Mehbooba added that the union government recently had planned to wind-up all such defence committees.
“… but suddenly, they are taking a U-Turn. Not only such committees are being strengthened but even fresh arms being were issued, that too to the people with a particular political ideology,” she said.
The PDP president condemned the registration of a “false and frivolous” FIR against the party leaders including its former legislator and senior leader Firdous Tak and Youth District President Kishtwar Wasil Doolwal for seeking immediate roll back of such plans.
“The party leaders have represented the sentiments and aspirations of the people but it seems that the local administration was working under pressure from a particular political organisation. The registration of the case only speaks about the sorry state of affairs in Chenab Valley. The registration of the case seems to be a step taken under political compulsions and it should be rectified,” she said, while demanding immediate withdrawal of the case.
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Jul 20: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Saturday dissolved the party’s top decision-making Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
The move comes less than a week ahead of the PDP’s 20th foundation day anniversary scheduled to be observed on July28.
“Mehbooba Mufti has dissolved the PAC and a new body will be reconstituted in near future,” a PDP spokesman said.
While no reasons were assigned for the sudden decision of the PDP president, sources in the party said it was done in the wake of number of senior party leaders including several MLAs and former ministers quitting the party.
Those who have left the PDP include Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Altaf Bukhari, Haseeb Drabu, Imran Ansari, Abid Ansari and Abbas Wani (all former MLAs).
Cop turned drug peddler arrested
Srinagar, Jul 20: J&K Police Saturday arrested a drug peddler in Srinagar who turned out to be a cop.
A spokesperson said that Srinagar police intercepted and arrested one drug peddler at a checkpoint near Batamaloo.
The peddler, as per the police spokesperson, was identified as Mohammad Altaf Rather son of Akbar Rather resident of Panzan Chadoora.
“It is learnt that the arrested person works in Police department as Head Constable and has been accordingly placed under suspension,” the spokesperson said, adding the police seized 650 gms of charas and cash amount Rs 19,150 from his possession.
Accordingly case FIR No. 64/2019 under relevant sections of law was registered in the matter.
“He was shifted to Police Station Batamaloo where he remains in custody. One motor cycle bearing registration number JK01S-2152 also has been seized,” the spokesperson said.
The police requested people to come forward with any information regarding drug peddlers in their neighbourhood.
Drugs trap to spoil Kashmiri youth: Farooq
Srinagar, Jul 20: Member of Parliament and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah asked the youth of J&K to stay away from rising drug menace.
“The rising drug menace in Kashmir is a trap used to spoil the future of Kashmiri youth. I urge youth to stay away from it,” Farooq said while addressing a convention of NC workers at Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Farooq added that “if the special status of Jammu and Kashmir will be removed, all the presidential laws will come to an end by itself.”
Member of Parliament Hasnain Masoodi, Member of Parliament M Akber Lone, General Secretary Ali M Sagar, former MLA Handwara Choudhary M Ramzan, provincial president Nasir Alsam Wani and Sharif-ud-din Sharik were present on the occasion.