SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its ongoing probe into the militancy and separatist funding in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday arrested two alleged stone pelters including a photo journalist.
NIA spokesperson said the sleuths of the agency arrested two notorious ‘stone pelters’ today.
He identified the arrested persons as Javed Ahmad Bhat from south Kashmir’s Kulgam district and Kamran Yousuf from Pulwama district, also in south Kashmir.
Sources said Kamran contributed photographs to some local newspapers being published from Srinagar.
They said Kamran was very active on social networking site, Facebook and has been arrested for uploading some provocative videos.
Sources said Javed is a labourer by profession and has been accused of instigating violence through WhatsApp.
They said both Kamran and Javed were very active on social networking sites and were involved in instigating youth to stone pelting on security forces.
According to sources, the arrest of Kamran and Javed indicates that the NIA has made a lot of progress in its ongoing probe into militancy and separatist funding and the investigation has now moved from top to the ground level.
They said more arrests are likely to take place in the coming days.
Sources said the arrested duo will be produced before a special NIA court in national capital on Wednesday.
The arrests were the first arrests made by NIA in south Kashmir, which was the epicenter of last year’s unrest in the Valley after killing of Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016.
South Kashmir is also the hotbed of militancy. Majority of the 135 militants killed in encounters with security forces have been killed in south Kashmir comprising four districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian.
The NIA has also summoned senior lawyer and Kashmir Bar Association chief Mian Abdul Qayoom for questioning at its New Delhi headquarters tomorrow.
Qayoom has been close to separatist leaders, especially to hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani.
The lawyers for the second consecutive day today stayed away from courts to protest summoning of Qayoom by NIA.
The NIA is probing the militancy and separatist funding in Jammu and Kashmir and has already arrested nine people including seven separatist leaders, Sikh lawyer from Jammu and a leading businessman in the Valley. Among the arrested separatist leader includes hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Gelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Funtoosh.
Besides, the NIA is also questioning Naeem Geelani and Naseem Geelani, sons of Syed Ali Geelani in the militancy and separatist funding in the Valley.
The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against separatist leaders for acting in connivance with militants of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other groups and woman separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Millat for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means including hawala for funding separatist and militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NIA raids and arrests of separatist leaders took place after three separatists Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan and Gazi Javed Baba had in an expose by India Today TV purportedly acknowledged of receiving money from Pakistan government, Hafiz Saeed and militant groups for fomenting unrest in Valley and creating chaos by burning schools, government institutions, panchayat ghars and police stations.