Armed with four statements recorded before a magistrate, slips of hawala transactions, LoC barter trade invoices, documents related to fund transfers through Western Union and electronic evidence related to organised stone-pelting, the NIA is likely to chargesheet several Kashmiri separatists in a case of alleged terror funding on Thursday.
The agency had last year arrested seven Kashmiri separatists, two stonepelters and a businessman for allegedly fomenting trouble in the Valley with help of funds received allegedly from groups such as Hafiz Saeed-led LeT.
The chargesheet, sources said, is not likely to name top Hurriyat leaders such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq or Yasin Malik but will charge those associated with them under stringent sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The agency had earlier questioned Geelani’s sons Nayeem and Naseem in connection with the case.
The chargesheet may leave out two alleged stonepelters, one of them a photojournalist from Kashmir, in custody at the moment. However, a final decision on the same had not been taken till late in the evening, a source said.
The chargesheet may also not include details of several properties allegedly owned by separatists as the same has not been confirmed during the probe yet. Four statements recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate are among key evidence as they implicate the arrested accused of being in touch with people in Pakistan and raising funds that were utilised to organise stonepelting incidents or massive protests, including arson and damage to property, including that of schools.
“These statements have been supported by corroborative evidence and will be crucial to link the accused with the offence of terror funding,” an official said.
Other evidence include documents related to LoC barter trade, which NIA has alleged was regularly used to move money from across the border. Similarly, payment slips seized during raids at offices of hawala operators in Delhi would be used to show how the money was moved from across the border to Delhi and then to the Valley.
The agency would also be attaching electronic evidence in the form of various WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages operated by people associated with the separatists to organise stonepelting in Kashmir. As many as 128 WhatsApp groups had been identified by the NIA through which close to 6,000 stonepelters were associated.
An official said that key separatists or some accused being left out of the chargesheet does not mean there is no evidence against them. “The investigation in the case will continue even after the chargesheet is filed. This will not be the only chargesheet in the case. More people could be chargesheeted later,” a home ministry official said.
On July 24, 2017, the NIA arrested seven separatists — Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah — on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.