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NIA Attaches Jailed Hurriyat Leader’s Srinagar House

Anees Zargar |
Ayaz Akbar was arrested in July 2017, respectivelyin a case of funding and aiding militancy and separatism in J&K.

Srinagar: A day after attaching propertiesof Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, the National Investigation Agency (NIA)attached jailed Hurriyat leader Ayaz Akbar’s residence in Srinagar. 

NIA officials arrived at Shalteng locality and pasted the attachment notice on Akbar’s house. “This is to inform all members of the public that the immovable property i.e. land measuring 1 Kanal and 10 Marias under Survey No, 31 at Mauza Shalteng, Tehsil Srinagar (J&K), in the name of Muhammad Akbar Khanday S/o Ab. Rehman Khanday, R/o Malora near Imam-ul-Bana Masjid, P.S. Parimpora, Srinagar, J&K, as Abadi Deh, has been attached under the Court Orders dated May 31, 2023, in RC-10/2017/NIA/DLI, by the Special NIA Court,” the notice read. 

 Akbar was the spokesperson of Hurriyat (G), led by late separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani. The NIA action against Akbar, lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail,comes a day after the agency attached 17 properties of Watali, a prominent businessmanaccused of being a Hawala conduit, in Handwara and Kupwara.

“Watali had been sending the funds raised by him from various sources to the Hurriyat leaders to promote the secessionism of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India,” the NIA statement read. 

Akbar and Watali were arrested in July and August 2017, respectively, by the NIA in a case related to funding and aiding militancy and separatism in the region.

Akbar was among the first prominent Hurriyat leaders arrested in the case along with Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid ul Islam, Naeem Khan, and Altaf Shah, who died in jail last October. In April 2021, his wife Rafeeqa died at her Malora residence after battling cancer for several years. 

The NIA’s action against workers and leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), an amalgam of several parties and groups, is part of a larger crackdown on a network that the agency believes is at the centre of Kashmir militancy and separatism. 

Law enforcement agencies have attached properties worth hundreds of crores in the past few years. In January, the NIA attached the APHC office in Rajbagh locality of Srinagar, a month after Geelani’s residence was attached by the J&K Police’s Special Investigation Agency.

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