Updated: August 17, 2017 7:37:23 am
The National Investigative Agency on Wednesday searched 12 places in Kashmir in connection with the ongoing terror funding investigation. The homes of two lawyers, two drivers and a government official were among those that were searched. One of the advocates, Mohammad Shafi Reshi, who is affiliated to Hurriyat’s S A S Geelani faction, is the uncle of PDP legislator Yasir Reshi.
NIA sleuths and officials said the searches — conducted simultaneously at Sanatnagar, Parimpora, Tarhama and Mazhama in Baramulla, and Machipora and Bakhihaker in Kupwara — have led to documents related to hawala funding.
At Gulberg Colony, the NIA searched the house of advocate Mohammad Shafi Reshi. At Tarhama village, the NIA raided two houses — of Peerzada Ghulam Nabi, who is an employee with the industries, and commerce department, and Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, who is an accountant of businessman Zahoor Watali, who is in NIA custody.
At Mazhama, the NIA searched the home of Abdul Rahim Wani, an advocate and brother-in-law of Watali. The teams also raided the houses of Mohammad Akbar Bhat at Sanatnagar and Ghulam Mohammad Rather in Parimpora. Both are Watali’s drivers.
In Kupwara’s Machipora, the home of one of Watali’s employees, Ghulam Mohammad, was searched. Another search was carried at Bakhihakar village at the house of Abdul Aziz Mir, the caretaker of a property belonging to Watali.
An official said the teams scanned documents and other items for three to eight hours. “In some places, the NIA team spent more than six to seven hours,” he said.
When contacted, legislator Yasir Reshi said he had “nothing to do” with his uncle. “I am an elected representative of people,” he said.
A spokesman for the NIA said the houses belonging to Shafi Reshi and Zahoor Watali had yielded suspect financial records. “Some of the documents seized relate to receipt of money from suspected foreign sources and distribution of money so received to certain persons in Kashmir,” he said.
The separatists and Valley’s business fraternity have termed these raids as political vendetta meant to break resolve of the leadership.
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