Millennium Post

Court sends Kashmiri businessman to 10-day NIA custody

New Delhi: A court here on Friday sent to 10-day NIA custody Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, arrested on charge of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting in Kashmir.
During the in-camera proceedings, District Judge Poonam Bamba remanded Watali in National Investigation Agency's custody till August 28.
Arrested on Thursday, Watali is accused of acting as a conduit for channelling funds for separatists and terror activities in the Kashmir Valley.
He was allegedly collecting funds from Pakistan and banned terrorist organisations and transferring the same to various Hurriyat leaders.
In July, the agency arrested seven separatist leaders for their alleged involvement in Pakistan-funded unrest in the Valley.
Watali is known to be friends with Pakistani leaders as well as separatists, besides the mainstream politicians in Kashmir, the NIA said.
Informed sources said Watali, who was under NIA scanner for nearly two months, was called for repeated questioning at the agency's Delhi headquarters before his arrest.
The NIA, the sources said, told the court that it had seized certain suspicious documents related to properties, bank accounts, financial transactions and names of person who received large cash payments.
Special Public Prosecutor Sidharth Luthra told the court that the accused needed to be confronted with the seized documents, which also required to be analysed.
Reports from forensic experts on the documents are awaited.
The prosecutor told the court that Watali had not been cooperating and needed to be further interrogated in custody.
The defence opposed the NIA plea, saying that he had joined investigation and was co-operating in the probe.
"I am of the considered opinion that the ends of justice would be met by granting 10-day police remand to enable the NIA to interrogate the accused to unearth the complete conspiracy and to confront the accused with the facts and circumstances as have emerged," the court said.

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