Hizb chief’s son arrested in 2011 terror funding case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested Shakeel Yousuf, the eldest son of ‘global terrorist’ and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, in connection with a 2011 case pertaining to terror funding.

An NIA spokesperson said that Yusuf was arrested from Srinagar’s Rambagh area in a joint operation with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the local police.

The NIA had questioned Yusuf on several occasions in the past one year but he didn’t show up for questioning after June 30, even after fresh summons.

Yusuf works as a medical assistant at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar. He has appeared before the agency when it issued summons in March.

The investigation in the 2011 terror funding case involving Hurriyat leaders has picked up after it was briefly suspended when the Centre announced suspension of operations (SoO) during the month of Ramzan.

There are multiple cases that the agency is probing in the Kashmir Valley.

The particular case where Yusuf has been summoned pertains to the transfer of money from Pakistan to J&K through hawala channels via Delhi, which the agency believed was used in funding terrorism and secessionist activities.

In November 201, the NIA had arrested Syed Shahid Yousuf, another son of Salahuddin. He was working in the agricultural department of the Jammu and Kashmir government and is presently in Tihar jail.

The NIA alleged that he used to receive funds through a U.S.-based international wire transfer company from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, another accused in the case who is absconding and based in Saudi Arabia.

The NIA has so far filed three charge sheets against seven people including G.M. Bhat, a close aide of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo, Farooq Ahmed Dagga and Shahid.

The other two accused — Mohammed Maqbool Pandit and Bhat — were also charged by the NIA but are absconding. An Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued against them.

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