National Investigating Agency (NIA) on Sunday said that the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was instrumental in bringing the Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq together to spearhead the 2016 agitation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Yasin Malik was instrumental in bringing together the disparate factions of Hurriyat and formed Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) which spear headed the 2016 agitation in Kashmir,” NIA said in a press statement.
It said that 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.
“Yasin Malik admitted that the JRL and Hurriyat Conference Geelani Group collected funds from business community as well as certain other sources and ensured that economic shut down and violent protests continue to disrupt the daily life of common citizens in the valley,” the NIA said in the statement.
It said that Muslim League chairman Masarat Aalam Bhat revealed in the investigation that Pakistan based agents route funds through hawala operators which were transferred to the separatists including Syed Ali Geelani.
“Aalam said there are rifts in the Hurriyat regarding collection/use of funds,” it said.
Hurriyat leaders, including Yasin Malik, Aasiya Andrabi of Duktaran-e-Milat, Shabir Shah and Masrat Aalam were taken into police custody for custodial interrogation in 2018 regarding funding case.
“The NIA investigation has also revealed that Zahoor Ahamad Shah Watali is one of the main hawala conduit 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,” added the statement.
NIA also said that Asiya Andrabi 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.
“Asiya Andrabi was confronted with evidence regarding funding of educational expenses of her son in Malaysia from 2011 onwards through foreign remittances made by Zahoor Watali,” NIA said.
NIA said that the agency has already approached the concerned authorities for providing evidence relating to certain bank accounts used by Mohammad bin Qasim (son of Asiya Andrabi) while he was studying in the University.
NIA said that the investigation in this case is continuing.