Bail plea of Kashmiri separatist leader, businessman dismissed

New Delhi, Oct 25: A court here on Wednesday rejected the interim bail plea of senior Kashmiri separatist leader and a businessman arrested on charges of receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terrorist activities and stone-pelting in Jammu and Kashmir.

District Judge Poonam Bamba dismissed the bail plea of separatist leader Nayeem Khan and businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali sought on medical grounds, citing their poor health condition.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed the bail plea and said that accused, if released on bail, can tamper with evidence.

“Considering the facts, gravity of the offences and nature of material on record and the investigation is underway, there is a likelihood of the applicant fleeing from justice, tampering with the evidence, influencing the witness, if admitted to bail,” the court said.

The court also said that apprehension expressed by the NIA cannot be “brushed aside” and added that the accused doesn’t deserve bail at this stage.

Both the accused are in judicial custody till November 15.

On July 24, the NIA arrested seven Kashmiri separatists — Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah. All were booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against the nation.

Arrested in mid-August, Watali is accused of acting as a conduit for channelling funds for separatists and terror activities in the Kashmir Valley.

He was allegedly collecting funds from Pakistan and banned terrorist organisations and transferring them to Hurriyat leaders.

Watali is known to be friends with Pakistani leaders as well as Kashmiri separatists besides the mainstream politicians in Jammu and Kashmir, the NIA said.

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