The National Intelligence Agency has arrested financier Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali in connection with his alleged links to a Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case. The arrests come hours after the central probe agency raided 12 locations in Kashmir which were reportedly linked to terror funding. The NIA searched properties of businessman Watali, two lawyers, two drivers and a government official. Both the drivers raided by the NIA are employed by Watali. Of the two lawyers one is affiliated to the SAS Geelani faction of the Hurriyat, is the uncle of PDP legislator Yasir Reshi. The 12 searches were carried out simultaneously by the central probe agency in Sanatnagar, Parimpora, Tarhama and Mazhama in Baramulla, and Machipora and Bakhihaker areas of Kashmir, as reported by the Indian Express.
An NIA spokesperson told the Indian Express that searches on the properties of Shafi Reshi and Zahoor Watali have yielded a lot of financial records. The NIA spokesperson told the Indian Express that some of the records seized are related to receipt of money from suspected foreign sources and the distribution of that money to certain people in Kashmir. The spokesperson also added that at a few locations the searches continued for close to six to seven hours, according to an Indian Express report.
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Yasir Reshi has meanwhile told the Indian Express that he has nothing to do with the activities of his uncle Watali. Meanwhile the business fraternity of Kashmir valley have termed these raids as political vendetta meant to break resolve of the leadership.