The National Investigation Agency, on Thursday, arrested Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali in connection to terror funding case. Watali is being questioned by the NIA in Delhi and is accused of being the main man for illegally remitting funds to the secessionists, terrorists and stone-pelters. He was earlier arrested in the year 1990 by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, when some anti-national activists were found present in his house at Bagat Barzulla, Srinagar.
Sources tell Republic TV that Watali has named at least four big separatist leaders for him he syphoned money. Sources add that NIA is most likely to get a statement from him before he is produced before a Court. His statement will break the backbone of terror funding and stone pelting in the valley, sources say.
His arrest comes after the searches conducted by the agency at multiple locations in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla belonging to the relatives and employees of Zahoor Watali. He is now being questioned by the NIA officials regarding the incriminating financial transaction details and property-related records seized during the searches.
Watali is also accused of travelling on a cancelled/invalid passport. “Instead of surrendering the cancelled passport to the authorities, he travelled abroad on cancelled/invalid passport on 21.03.2016 in violation of the law and again when he tried to do so, his invalid passport was seized at Delhi by the authorities” a statement by NIA read.
Earlier in 2009, Watali was accused of illegal encroachment of land and assault and a case was registered against him. However, as per the orders of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir on June 22, 2016, the investigation of the case has stayed.
Watali will be produced before the special NIA Judge at Patiala House Court on August 18.