HC Seeks NIA Stand On Hurriyat Leader’s Challenge To Charges

File photo of Nayeem Khan

New Delhi- The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the stand of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Kashmiri separatist leader Nayeem Khan’s challenge to the framing of charges against him in an alleged militancy funding case.

A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh issued notice to the NIA on the petition and listed it for hearing on August 3.

A trial court had last year framed charges against Khan and others in the case related to alleged militant and secessionist activities that disturbed the Valley in 2017.

Hurriyat Conference leader Khan was arrested on July 24, 2017 and is currently in judicial custody.

The high court had issued a notice on Khan’s bail plea in the matter earlier this year.

The trial court had ordered framing of charges against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Masarat Alam and others, under various sections of the anti-terror law UAPA and Indian Penal Code (IPC), including criminal conspiracy, waging war against the country, and unlawful activities and militancy, in a case pertaining to secessionist activities that disturbed peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

It had also charged Hafiz Saeed, Md Yusuf Shah, Aftab Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Md Akbar Khanday, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam, Abdul Rashid Sheikh and Naval Kishore Kapoor in the case.

Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Mohammad Yasin Malik had pleaded guilty to the charges, including those under the UAPA, and he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to the NIA, various militant organisations such as the LeT, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), JKLF, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), among others, with the support of the ISI of Pakistan, perpetrated violence in the Valley by attacking civilians and security forces.

It was alleged that in 1993, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) was formed to provide a political front to secessionist activities.

The NIA charge sheet submitted before the trial court said the central government received credible information that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Amir of Jammat-ud-Dawah and the secessionist and separatist leaders, including members of the Hurriyat Conference, have been acting with the connivance of militants of proscribed militant organisations like HM and LeT for raising, receiving and collecting funds, domestically and abroad, through various illegal channels including the hawala route.

The NIA also alleged this was done for funding separatist and militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir. It claimed these elements have entered into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in the Valley by way of attacking security forces with stones, systematically burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.

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