In the first of its kind chargesheet filed by the ED against terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir, Firdous Ahmad Shah, a member of Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s Hurriyat Conference, was on Thursday charged in connection with use of money sent from Italy allegedly for terror financing. The chargesheet filed in the court of Sessions Judge Srinagar (Special Judge, Money Laundering) named Shah as well as his close confidante Yar Mohammed Khan, an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official said.
The ED has alleged that the two men received money from Italy through Western Union Money Transfer and this money was used for unlawful activities related to terror funding. The chargesheet mentions that there were around 300 instances spread over three years from 2007 where money was allegedly sent from Italy. The ED attached Shah’s house at Abi Gujar in Lal Chowk, which was, however, released by the court and the matter is under adjudication. Besides this, Rs 1 lakh belonging to Khan has been frozen, the official said.
Shah is the Chairman of Democratic Political Movement, a constituent of Geelani’s faction of Hurriyat Conference. When contacted, Shah told PTI that the allegations were baseless and that there was no proof that the money was used for financing of terror. “This is just a conspiracy,” he said, but declined to respond to a question whether he had received money from Italy.
The previous Omar Abdullah government had taken up with the Centre the need for roping in Enforcement Directorate to deal with the issue of financing terror groups through illegal means. An ED team had visited the state after 2011 and registered more than 10 cases including that against Shabir Shah for allegedly receiving funds from abroad for anti-national activities.
In a related development, the ED plans to summon Shabir Shah next week in connection with a case dating back to August 2005 that related to Delhi Police Special Cell’s arrest of Mohammed Aslam Wani, an alleged hawala dealer, who had claimed that he had passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah. He has, however, denied the charge.