Terror funding case : Kashmiri businessman Watali, sent to 10-day NIA custody

NEW DELHI, Aug 18 : The Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali, who had been arrested for allegedly receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities, were sent to National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody for 10 days on Friday.

Earlier, the arrested businessman was produced before Delhi’s Patiala House Court after being booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Yesterday, Watali was arrested from national capital following NIA’s series of raids on the premises of the businessman and of other suspects.

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

It said that on June 3, 2017, the NIA had searched Watali’s house in Srinagar and seized incriminating documents pertaining to financial transactions and land deals.

The property documents seized have shown huge amounts of cash transactions in sale and purchase, it said.

“Zahoor Watali, who is suspected of acting as a conduit for illegally remitting funds to secessionists, terrorists and stone-pelters, was arrested in 1990 by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, when some anti-national activists were found in his house at Bagat Barzulla, Srinagar,” the statement said.

It said Watali was taken into custody along with Yaseen Malik, Sajjad Lone, Bilal Lone and others and was jailed for eight months in Jammu.

In 2009, Watali was accused of illegal land encroachment and assault, and a case was registered against him, it said.

“However, as per the orders of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir on June 22, 2016, the investigation of the case was stayed,” it said.

Watali was also accused of travelling on a cancelled passport knowing that it was illegal, the NIA alleged.

It said instead of surrendering the cancelled passport to the authorities, he travelled abroad on it on March 21, 2016, in violation of the law. When he tried to do so again, his invalid passport was seized in Delhi by the authorities.

A case of cheating under the Ranbir Penal Code and violation of the Passport Act were registered against him.

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