Afternoon Voice

NIA arrests Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son in terror funding case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today arrested Syed Shakeel Yousuf, son of globally wanted terrorist Syed Salahuddin, in connection with a 2011 terror funding case for allegedly receiving money from his father.

An NIA spokesman said in Delhi that Shakeel, at present working as a laboratory assistant at a prestigious government hospital, was picked up from Rambagh locality of Srinagar and placed under arrest.

The spokesman said, “In an operation today morning, NIA team along with the police and CRPF arrested Shakeel in a terror funding case”.

He is the second son of Salahuddin who has been arrested by the NIA in connection with the case. Earlier in June this year, his another son, Shahid, who was working in the agricultural department of the Jammu and Kashmir government, was arrested in the same case.

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

The agency alleged Shakeel was “one of several Indian contacts of Bhat” who had been in telephonic contact with him for receiving money transfer codes

The case, registered by the NIA in April 2011, relates to transfer of money from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through hawala channels via Delhi, which the agency believed was used in funding terrorism and secessionist activities

The NIA has so far filed two charge sheets against six people including G M Bhat, a close aide of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga. All four are in judicial custody

Two others — Mohammed Maqbool Pandit and Bhat — were also charge-sheeted by the NIA but are absconding. An Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued against them

Shakeel’s father Mohammed Yusuf Shah — better known as Syed Salahuddin — was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State.

Besides heading terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, he is the chairman of the United Jehad Council (UJC), a conglomerate of terrorist outfits operating in the Kashmir Valley.

The NIA had also 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.