Terror funding case: Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali sent to NIA custody

A district judge allowed the agency's plea for custody after it said that the accused was required to be confronted with evidence.

Published: 18th August 2017 05:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2017 09:17 PM   |  A+A-

The office of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi. (File | AFP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday got 10-day police remand of controversial Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali by a designated court here for custodial interrogation in connection with the case relating to terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir. 

“Accused Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was produced today before the Special NIA Judge at the Patiala House Courts and he has been remanded to ten days of Police Custody till 28/08/2017,” NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal said in a statement.

Watali is suspected to have collected funds from Pakistan-based terror groups and laundered money for funding the separatist Hurriyat leaders for furthering subversive activities in the Valley.

The court granted the remand after the agency submitted that the accused was not cooperating during the probe and needed to be subjected to custodial interrogation. The agency also told the court that Watali was required to be confronted with the materials gathered during the searches at his residence on June 3  this year and those collected from his cohorts earlier this week.

During the in-camera proceedings before District Judge Poonam A Bamba, the agency further submitted that the NIA had recovered suspicious documents from the accused including suspect banking transactions besides cash during the searches at his premises and those associated with him.

The agency had arrested the Hurriyat financier Watali from the national capital on Thursday. His arrest followed the searches conducted by the NIA on Wednesday at multiple locations in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla belonging to the relatives and employees of Watali.

“The searches have unearthed highly incriminating material pertaining to receipt of funds by Zahoor Watali from foreign sources and its further distribution to the terrorists and separatists in Kashmir valley for anti-India activities,” the NIA had said in a statement after his arrest.

Earlier, the agency had arrested hard-line Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah and six others associated with the separatist outfit in connection with the terror funding probe.

Sources said Watali is expected to reveal the nexus between covert funding by Pakistani outfits and agencies with the Hurriyat leaders for fuelling subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir, including destruction of government properties like school buildings.

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