Srinagar: In Kashmir, the authorities have placed Advocate Devinder Singh Behl, an aide of APHC Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, under house arrest to prevent him from addressing a press conference against raids by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the territory.
Devinder Singh was scheduled to address the press conference in Jammu, today, to inform the media about the illegal raids being carried out by NIA on the residences of Hurriyat leaders, traders and academicians in the territory. However, police prevented him from addressing the press and placed him under house arrest. His cell-phone has also been confiscated.
It is pertinent to mention here that NIA had arrested Advocate Devinder Singh after raiding from his home in Bakhshi Nagar area of Jammu on July 30.
He was kept under illegal detention in New Delhi and was released a few days ago.
Terror funding in Kashmir: Who is Devinder Singh Behal?
– Devinder Singh Behal is considered close to Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
– Behal is the chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Social Peace Forum (JKSPF), which is a constituent of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani.
– The NIA is probing Behal’s role “as a courier as he is suspected to be involved in routing funds to the separatist leaders from Pakistan-based handlers”.
– Behal regularly visits High Commission of Pakistan in New Delhi.
– He is regularly seen at funerals of slain militants.
The NIA had registered the case on May 30, accusing separatist and secessionist leaders of being in cahoots with terrorist groups.
The case was registered over raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including through hawala channels, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in the state and for causing disruption in the Valley by pelting security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.
The NIA conducted searches in several places in the state besides Haryana and the national capital. Electronic devices and valuables worth crores of rupees were impounded.
It is for the first time since the rise of militancy in the early 1990s that a central probe agency has conducted raids in connection with the funding of terrorist and separatist groups.