NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Tuesday initiated trial against an alleged close aide of pro-Pakistan hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and three others, arrested for allegedly running hawala racket to fund banned terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen.
District Judge H S Sharma began the trial by recording the statement of prosecution witness Kailash Singh Bisht, a Delhi police inspector (special cell). In his statement, Bisht informed the court in detail how they arrested the accused and received information regarding their activities.
He deposed that Geelani’s close aide Ghulam Mohd Bhat and three others -- Mohd Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga -- were arrested on a tip-off that they were raising funds for the banned terror outfit.
He added that in the last week of December 2010, police received information that money was being sent from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through hawala channel. On this, a team was constituted and investigations were taken up, leading to the arrest of the accused in J&K.
On March 3, the court had framed charges under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against all the accused, who were presently lodged in Tihar jail.
Meanwhile, the court has posted the matter for further recoding of statements on April 18. The NIA had last year filed a chargesheet against the four, indicting them for procuring over `4.57 crore from Pakistan through hawala channels within three years after 2008 for funding terrorist activities in the Valley.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police, on January 22 last year, had arrested Srinagar-based lawyer Bhat, Ganai, Liloo and Dagga.
Police also recovered Rs 21.20 lakh from them.
The case was later handed over to the NIA, which in its chargesheet stated that huge funds were collected from various places in Delhi, and Ganai was in touch with ISI operatives Major Iqbal, an accused charge-sheeted for carrying out various terror strikes including the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and ‘Col’ Abdullah for generating funds. “Ganai identified as an active member of People’s League, (a constituent of Hurriyat led by Geelani), had gone to Pakistan in 1998 through Wagah border on Indian travel document and returned via Nepal on a Pakistani passport,” the chargesheet added.