NIA arrests Hizbul chief’s son for terror funding: All you need to know about the case

Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday morning arrested Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Syed Salahuddin’s son after a raid in J&K’s Rambagh area. The militant’s son Syed Shakeel Yousuf was an accused in a 2011 case of terror funding.

The police said that Shakeel –who is a laboratory technician at a prestigious government hospital– the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences– was allegedly receiving money from his father, a globally wanted terrorist.

In the 2011 case, registered by NIA, the security agency had highlighted the transfer of money from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through illegal channels via Delhi. According to the agency, the money was used in funding terrorism and secessionist activities.

As per reports, the NIA team teamed up with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and local police to arrest Shakeel, the second son of Syed Salahuddin. Another son of the Hizbul chief, Syed Shahid Yousuf, was arrested in June.

Shahid Yousuf, was working with the Jammu and Kashmir agricultural department when he was arrested. He was placed under suspension by the department.

Who is Syed Salahuddin?

  • Syed Salahuddin was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State.
  • Besides heading Hizbul Mujahideen, he is the chairman of the United Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of terrorist outfits operating in the Kashmir valley.

The US connection

  • The NIA has alleged that Shakeel received funds through a US-based international wire transfer company from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat– who is another suspect in the case and is believed to be in Saudi Arabia.
  • As per an official, Shakeel was “one of several Indian contacts” of Bhat, who had been in contact with him for receiving money transfer codes.

How has NIA fared so far

  • Six people, including GM Bhat, a close aide of separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga have been charge-sheeted by the NIA. All four are in judicial custody.
  • Chargesheets against two others– Mohammed Maqbool Pandit and Bhat– were also filed and eventually an Interpol Red Corner notice was also issued against them as they were at large.
  • The NIA has registered two others cases related to terror funding — one in November 2011 and the other in May this year.
  • The agency had filed a charge sheet against 10 people, including Syed Salahuddin, in the April 2011 case.
  • In the recent case, the NIA arrested 10 people, including some close relatives and aides of Geelani.