A day after being arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was remanded to ten days police custody on Friday. A statement released by the NIA said, “Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali remanded to ten days of police custody.” The NIA had arrested Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali on Thursday in connection with the funding of terrorist and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Watali was arrested in Delhi following several rounds of questioning. He, as per the NIA, is suspected to be involved in hawala transactions using his vast network of contacts in India and Pakistan. He is also believed to be close to some high-ranking officials in Pakistan. Watali, according to NIA, acted as a conduit for illegally remitting funds to secessionists, terrorists and stone pelters.
The businessman was arrested after NIA conducted searches at multiple locations in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla belonging to the relatives and employees of Watali. The NIA said the searches unearthed highly incriminating material pertaining to receipt of funds by Watali from foreign sources and its further distribution to the terrorists and separatists in Kashmir Valley for anti-India activities.
NIA on June 3 had conducted searches at Watali’s residence in Srinagar and seized documents pertaining to several financial transactions and land deals.