25 September 2018 03:15 PM

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JEHANGIR ALI | 26 OCTOBER, 2017

NIA Raids Jihad Council Chief Salahuddin's Ancestral House

JEHANGIR ALI


SRINAGAR: The National Investigations Agency today raided the ancestral house of United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin in Budgam district, a day after his son was remanded the agency’s custody for his alleged involvement in funding unrest in the Valley.

An NIA officer said the raids, which lasted for about two hours, were carried out at the residence of Shahid Yousuf, son of Salahuddin, in Soibug village of central Kashmir in wee hours today, “We have seized some documents and a laptop which will be scrutinised,” the officer said.

Shahid, an employee in the Jammu and Kashmir government, was arrested two days ago after the NIA called him to appear for questioning in a case dating back to 2011. The agency alleges Shahid received funds through a US-based international wire transfer company from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, an absconding accused reportedly based in Saudi Arabia.

While the NIA claims that Shahid received nearly Rs 4.5 lakh through eight wire transfers, the family has accused the agency of witch-hunt to “pressurise our father” to become part of the dialogue process that is being initiated with the appointment of former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma as new Kashmir interlocutor.

In a statement to a local new agency yesterday, Salahuddin said his amalgam was not against any dialogue but that it should include all the three parties to the Kashmir dispute - India, Pakistan and Kashmiris.

“We are not against dialogue but the dialogue bugle announced by India is a big joke. Kashmir is neither a territorial dispute between two countries nor internal issue of any country. The fate of over one crore forty lakh souls is attached to it,” he said.

United Jihad Council is an amalgam of nearly two dozen militant outfits who have been operating in Kashmir since 1989 when an armed insurgency broke out against Indian rule.

The arrest of Salahuddin’s son has drawn condemnation from the Hurriyat leaders including veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani and JKLF chief Yasin Malik.

“Involving families into political affairs, arresting sons for fathers and fathers in place of sons, has been a long ploy of India. Arresting Shahid Yousuf and attacks on non-combatant family members of those in freedom struggle are glaring examples of Indian aggression,” Yasin Malik said in a statement yesterday.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, today met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital to “discuss the appointment of Kashmir interlocutor“, according to reports.

The CM, whose Peoples Democratic Party is pegging high hopes on the appointment to salvage its credibility in the Valley, yesterday appealed to the police to “prepare ground for dialogue”.

“Police have an important role in creating an atmosphere for reconciliation and dialogue. For the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh appointed a person and gave him a status of cabinet secretary,” she said.

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