New Delhi: The NIA on Thursday carried out searches at the residence of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin in Kashmir valley in connection with a six-year-old terror funding case.
An NIA official said, “The agency carried out searches at the residence of Shahid in Soibugh village of Budgam district early in the morning today (Thursday) which has concluded now.”
“We have seized mobile phones, laptops, hard disks and several incriminating documents.”
The raid comes two days after the counter-terror probe agency arrested Shahid, 42, a state government employee, in Delhi after he was called for questioning at its headquarters in a 2011 terror funding case that pertains to terror money sent through hawala channels by militants based in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Jammu and Kashmir to instigate terrorist activities.
The NIA has alleged that Shahid over the years has been receiving and collecting funds through international wire money transfer from Hizbul Mujahideen militant Aijaz Bhat, a Srinagar resident now based in Saudi Arabia.
Shahid even during his questioning admitted to have received funds from the members of Hizbul Mujahideen on the direction of his father. He had also revealed the names of his associates abroad associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen and involved in raising, collecting and transferring funds from abroad to India.
After his arrest, the NIA said Shahid was one of Aijaz Bhat’s several contacts who were in telephonic touch “to receive the money transfer codes”. The money was meant to fund Hizbul Mujahideen’s militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NIA had filed two chargesheets against six accused in the case in 2011. Four of them – Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, one of the closest aides of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmad Dagga – are currently in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
Two of the accused, Mohammad Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Bhat, are on the run and have been declared proclaimed offenders. Pandit, like Aijaz Bhat, has been an active Hizbul Mujahideen militant and is currently based in Pakistan.
Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, Ganai, Liloo and Dagga were arrested on January 22, 2011, and Rs 21.20 lakh was recovered from them.
After their arrest, Aijaz Bhat used to send money to Shahid.
The Hizbul Mujahideen chief’s son, according to an NIA official, received at least four instalments of money in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.