New Delhi, Oct 26: The NIA on Thursday conducted searches at the residence of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin in Kashmir valley over a six-year-old terror funding case.
An NIA official told IANS, “The agency carried out searches at the residence of Shahid in Soibugh village of Budgam district early in the morning today (Thursday) which has concluded now.”
“We have recovered mobile phones, laptops, hard disks and several incriminating documents.”
This comes two days after the counter-terror probe agency nabbed Shahid, 42, a state government employee, in Delhi after he was called for interrogation at its headquarters in a 2011 terror funding case that pertains to terror money sent through hawala channels by militants based in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to Jammu and Kashmir to fuel terror activities.
The NIA has alleged that Shahid over the years has been receiving and collecting funds through international channel money transfer from Hizbul Mujahideen militant Aijaz Bhat, a Srinagar resident now based in Saudi Arabia.
During questioning Shahid even admitted to have received funds from the members of Hizbul Mujahideen on the direction of his father.
After his arrest, the NIA said Shahid was one of Aijaz Bhat’s several contacts who were in telephonic touch “to receive the money transfer codes”. The money was meant to fund Hizbul Mujahideen’s terrorits activities in the valley.
In 2011, the noted probe agency had filed two chargesheets against six accused in the case. Four of them – Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, one of the closest aides of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmad Dagga – are currently lodged at Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
Two of the accused, Mohammad Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Bhat, are on the run and have been declared proclaimed offenders. Pandit, like Aijaz Bhat, has been an active Hizbul Mujahideen militant and is presently living in Pakistan.
On January 22, 2011, Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, Ganai, Liloo and Dagga were arrested and Rs 21.20 lakh was siezed from them.
After their arrest, Aijaz Bhat used to send money to Hizbul Mujahideen chief’s son.
According to an NIA official, Shahid received at least four instalments of money in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.