Terror funding case: NIA arrests Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin’s son


  • Yusuf had allegedly received money to fuel and fund secessionist and terrorist activities in the Valley.
  • The arrest of Shahid Yusuf comes barely a day after the Centre appointed a representative to initiate dialogue in Kashmir.
  • Sources said Yusuf had accepted money transferred via Western Union by Aijaz based in Saudi Arabia.

In a major swoop, NIA has arrested Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin+ ‘s son Syed Shahid Yusuf, a J&K government employee, in a 2011 terror funding case.

Yusuf was found to be in touch with Saudi Arabia-based Hizbul Mujahideen operative Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, who is also an accused in the case, and had received money to allegedly fuel and fund secessionist and terrorist activities in the Valley .

The arrest of Shahid Yusuf, who works with the J&K agriculture department as village agriculture extension assistant and has a family home in Soibugh village, Budgam, comes barely a day after the Centre appointed a representative+ to initiate dialogue in J&K.

This makes it clear that terror funding investigations undertaken by NIA will not be affected by the dialogue process.

An indication to this effect was given yesterday by home minister Rajnath Singhwhen he insisted that NIA was an autonomous agency that would continue to decide the course of its investigations.

Sources said Yusuf had accepted money transferred via Western Union by Aijaz, who is on the run. The NIA has got documents confirming the funds transfers both from Saudi Arabia as well as India.

Money allegedly meant to fund Hizbul Mujahideen’s terrorist activities in J&K was reportedly sent in four instalments to Yusuf in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The NIA also has call records confirming multiple conversations between Aijaz and Yusuf, allegedly pertaining to the money transfers.

“We have all the documents on money transfers as well as call details. It is on the basis of this irrefutable evidence that we have gone ahead with Yusuf’s arrest,” said a senior NIA officer.

Yusuf was arrested soon after he reached the NIA office on Tuesday in response to summons sent by the agency asking him to appear for questioning. He had appeared for an initial round of questioning by NIA a few days ago.

The 2011 terror funding case, which had been lying dormant following the arrest of four accused in 2011 against whom NIA has filed a chargesheet, pertains to alleged terror funding through hawala channels by terrorists based in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to the state of J&K, via conduits based in Delhi.

While the four accused — Ghulam Mohd Bhat, Mohd Sidiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmad Dagga — are currently lodged in Tihar Jail, two others named Mohammad Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Bhat are on the run.

Maqbool is an active trained member of the Hizbul Mujahideen and is accused of having supplied, in connivance with Aijaz Bhat and others, terror funds raised in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to terrorist gangs, terrorist organisations, separatists and others to wage war and support unlawful activities in J&K.

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