The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today carried out searches at the residence of Syed Shahid Yousuf, son of Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, at Budgam in central Kashmir and seized phones, laptops and other documents, officials said. Shahid, who was arrested by the NIA on October 24 for allegedly receiving funds from overseas for subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, is at present in the custody of the agency for seven days. NIA officials said a team of the agency sleuths carried out searches at Shahid’s residence at Soibug in Budgam district of central Kashmir and seized his five mobile phones, a laptop and some incriminating documents.
According to NIA, 42-year-old Shahid, who works in the agricultural department of the Jammu and Kashmir government, has given the names of overseas Hizbul Mujahideen members involved in fund-raising for the terror outfit. The NIA claimed during questioning that Shahid “admitted to having received funds from cadres of the Hizbul Mujahideen on the direction of his father, Mohammed Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin, for fomenting terrorist activities in the Valley”. The NIA said he also “revealed the names of his associates abroad who were linked with the Mujahideen and involved in raising, collecting and transferring funds from other countries to India”.
It alleged that Shahid 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 is based in Saudi Arabia. The agency alleged that Shahid was “one of the several Indian contacts of Bhat” who had been in telephonic contact with him for receiving money transfer codes. The NIA claimed so far he had received a total of nearly Rs 4.5 lakh through eight international wire transfers. The case, registered by the NIA in April 2011, relates to the 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. Shahid’s father Salahuddin, based in Pakistan, was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of State in June this year. 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.