New Delhi, Jan 18: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed charges under stringent anti-terror laws against seven jailed Kashmiri separatist leaders for allegedly conspiring with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin to wage war against India to secede Jammu and Kashmir.
The agency has named Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and Salahuddin, the Hizbul Mujahideen chief, as the accused in its nearly 13,000-page chargesheet.
Others accused are Altaf Ahmad Shah, son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Aftab Ahmad Shah, a close aide of moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and well-known businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali.
In all, 12 persons have been accused of “carrying out terrorist attacks and orchestrating violence, stone-pelting and other subversive and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir”. All the accused are in Tihar Jail here.
The chargesheet was filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Tarun Sherawat.
The chargesheet says it is “a part of their well-planned criminal conspiracy hatched with the active support, connivance and funding from terrorist organisations based in Pakistan and its agencies to achieve their objective of secession of Jammu and Kashmir by waging war against the government of India”.
The NIA registered the case on May 30 last year and the first arrests were made on July 24. Searches at over 60 locations across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi led to the seizure of over “950 incriminating documents and over 600 electronic devices”.
The agency said over 300 witnesses were examined.
The charges have been pressed under the non-bailable Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which entails punishment of seven years in jail if the allegations are proven, and anti-terror provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
The agency said analysis of documents and digital devices had established that the Hurriyat leaders had established a network in the Kashmir Valley to incite the youth to “attack all symbols of Indian sovereignty, especially Indian security forces”.
“Under the overall guidance and instructions from Hafiz Syed, Syed Salahuddin and their Pakistani handlers, the separatist leaders and stone-pelters form strategies and action plans to launch violent protests… creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The NIA said its probe “based on scientific and oral evidences has conclusively established that for carrying out terrorist and subversive activities, the gang of the accused persons is receiving funds from Pakistani agencies through hawala conduits such as Watali”.
It said funds for such activities were also raised “by generating illegal profits from LoC barter trade by doing under-invoicing and cash-dealings”.
“The money is routed through fake and bogus companies floated abroad and remitted to the Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. All these funds are then pumped by them into fuelling mass violence and terrorist activities so as to cause damage to public property, disrupt the essential services throwing normal life into chaos with an intention to threaten the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India”.