Srinagar/New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested seven Kashmiri separatists on charges of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting protests in the Kashmir Valley.
Speaking to IANS, Jammu and Kashmir Police sources in Srinagar and an NIA official in Delhi identified the seven as Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal.
Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan, and Islam is a close aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Akbar is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.
Karate was arrested from Delhi and the others from Srinagar. The six would be taken to Delhi, officials said.
The Geelani-led Hurriyat suspended Nayeem Khan after he confessed in a TV sting operation that Hurriyat leaders had been receiving funds from Pakistan for subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley.
The NIA had questioned the arrested persons after the May 2017 expose. Shah was questioned earlier in Delhi for nearly two weeks.
The NIA conducted raids in Srinagar, Jammu, Delhi and Haryana and reportedly seized incriminating evidence against those involved in receiving, acting as intermediaries and final beneficiaries of funds coming from Pakistan.
India has for decades accused Pakistan of arming, financing and training militants fighting to end Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad says it provides only political and diplomatic support.