Yasin Malik formed JRL, spearheaded 2016 unrest: NIA

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charged Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik with forming “Joint Resistance Leadership” and spearheading 2016 unrest.

The NIA in a release to the media on Sunday said that Malik was instrumental in bringing together the disparate factions of the Hurriyat and formed Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which spearheaded the 2016 agitation in Kashmir.

“The JRL issued protest calendars leading to economic shutdown for over four months and also caused death/injuries to civilians and security forces in the Valley,” the statement said.

“Yasin Malik admitted that the JRL and the Hurriyat Conference Geelani Group collected funds from business community as well as certain other sources and ensured that economic shutdown and violent protests continue to disrupt the daily life of common citizens in the valley,” the NIA said.

Separatist leaders including Yasin Malik,  AasiyaAndrabi, Shabir Shah and MasratAalam have been arrested in the funding case and are presently lodged in Tihar jail, New Dehli.

So far, the NIA has charge sheeted 13 accused in the funding case, including Hafiz Mohammad Saeed (leader of JammatudDawah), Syed Salahuddin (head of proscribed Hizb-ul-Mujahideen), seven separatist leaders, two “hawala conduits” and some stone pelters in the funding case.

During the investigation of the case, the NIA said, searches were conducted at various locations across the states of J&K, Delhi and Haryana and crucial electronic and documentary evidences were recovered which point towards the pattern of raising, collection, transfer and use of funds for militant and separatist activities.

“Significant evidence relating to funding of these separatist elements through Pakistan and UAE based businessman, ISI, High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi has been collected and presented to the NIA Special Court in the charge sheets,” it said.

The probe agency said that Muslim League chairman MasaratAalamBhat revealed in the investigation that “Pakistan based agents route funds through Hawala operators which were transferred to the separatists including Syed Ali Geelani.”

Terming him as “poster boy of stone pelters and violent agitations” in Kashmir valley, as per the probe agency, Alam during his custodial interrogation “has revealed that there are rifts in the Hurriyat conference regarding collection and use of funds.”

The agency said that AsiyaAndrabi has “admitted that she had been collecting funds and donations from foreign sources and Duktaran-e-Milat had been organising protests by Muslim women in the valley.”

 “AsiyaAndrabi was confronted with evidence regarding funding of educational expenses of her son in Malaysia from 2011 onwards through foreign remittances made by ZahoorWatali,” the NIA said. “We have already approached the concerned authorities for providing evidence relating to certain bank accounts used by Mohammad bin Qasim (son of AsiyaAndrabi) while he was studying in the University.”

The probe agency said that during the custodial interrogation, Shabir Shah was confronted with evidence relating to “transfer of money by Pakistan based agents and representatives of APHC factions to parties affiliated to Hurriyat in J & K.”

“He was also confronted about his investments in various hotels and businesses in Pahalgam, properties in Jammu, Srinagar and Anantnag.  Evidence regarding many of his benami properties is being collected,” it said. 

“He (Shabir Shah) was confronted with some of his personal staff and associates who have provided vital information regarding the sources (of) fund raising and investment details.  Investigation into these aspects is underway.”

It said the investigation revealed that ZahoorAhamad Shah Watali “is one of the main hawala conduits who used to generate and receive funds from Pakistan, ISI, UAE and had floated various shell companies to disguise foreign remittances for further transfer to separatist leaders and stone pelters in the valley.”

“The investigation in this case is continuing.”