NIA secures confessional statements from 2 accused
Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency has secured recorded confessional statements on the flow of money, especially from Pakistan, from two persons accused in a case related to the funding of terror activities in Kashmir, officials said on Tuesday.
The statements made before a judicial magistrate had tightened the case against separatists who allegedly funded stone-pelters and spread unrest in the Valley, NIA officials said on the condition of anonymity.
While one has been formally arrested, the other was detained and subsequently let off after he said he would turn approver, the officials said, declining to divulge their names. The former, arrested on July 24 this year after his house was raided by the central probe agency, approached NIA sleuths, giving his consent for recording his confessional statement.
He gave a detailed account of how funds were sent from Pakistan-based terror organisations as well as its external snooping agency ISI to separatists based in the Valley, the officials said.
The other person who has recorded his confessional statement is a close aide of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
A confessional statement is recorded before a judicial magistrate. The accused confirms in it that he or she is giving a statement without any pressure from the probe agency.
The entire process is videographed and no investigation officer is present in the court premises during the proceedings. In case of retraction later, the agency can file a case of perjury. The NIA has arrested 10 people so far in connection with alleged funding of terror activities case. The list includes Altaf Ahmed Shah, the son-in-law of Geelani, and noted businessman Zahorr Watali.
Geelani's close aides Ayaz Akbar, who is also spokesperson of the hardline separatist organisation Tehreek- e-Hurriyat, and Peer Saifullah have been also been arrested.
Others in the list are Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesperson of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias 'Bitta Karate', photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmed Bhat.
The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against the separatist and secessionist leaders, including unknown members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have been acting in connivance with active militants of proscribed terrorist organisations Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other outfits and gangs, officials said.
Mehbooba seeks end to Indo-Pak hostilities
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday sought an end to the hostilities between India and Pakistan on the borders, saying it is the people of the state who bear the brunt of the skirmishes.
Mehbooba, who was addressing a public meeting at Tangdar sector near the Line of Control (LoC) in Karnah area of north Kashmir's Kupwara district, said the recent skirmishes along the border area has led many people to migrate.
"I appeal the leadership of both the countries to work for maintaining peace on the borders. The people of the state have been the worst victims of this hostility which has led to their killing, dislocations and damages to the property on both the sides," she said.
The chief minister said peace in the state and between the two South Asian countries holds key to the progress and development of the region.
"It is very unfortunate that when people should have been demanding facilities of schools, hospitals, playfields and hospitals, they are seeking construction of bunkers to save them from firepower. It is a point to ponder what have the people achieved from the hostility of 70 years," she said.
Flagging friendship between India and Pakistan as the only way forward, the chief minister said with peace and cooperation new vistas of progress and development for the people could be opened.
"Given its picturesque beauty, Teetwal and Tanghdar areas could be developed as major tourist spots. This would give the local economy a major fillip like it has given to Ladakh tourism," she said.