Kashmir Terror Funding: NIA not ready to share details of protected witnesses
After six accused were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Kashmir Terror Funding for over six years, there has been no respite for the accused.
After six accused were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Kashmir Terror Funding for over six years, there has been no respite for the accused, as the NIA Special Court kept the next hearing on September 6.
According to a senior NIA official, the lawyer of the accused had demanded details, including statements of witnesses. India Today has learnt that the NIA showed its inability to share details of 23 witnesses, who they claimed were protected under Section 17 of the NIA Act, 2008.
The act provides protection of witnesses essentially stating that if the Special Court is satisfied that the life of such witness is in danger, it may take some measures to keeping the identity and address of such witness secret.
Six of the 12 accused had applied for bail, including separatist leaders Raja Mejhrajuddin Kalwal, Bitta Karate, Peer Saifullah, Shahid ul Islam, Akbar khanday and Altaf Fantoosh. Special NIA Judge Poonam Bamba who has been hearing the bail petition has put the next date of hearing after two months.
Businessman Zahoor Watali's bail was rejected earlier by the court in June earlier this year. He was also not well and even asked for a walking stick to be provided to him.
In the Kashmir terror financing case of 2017, 12 men were named by the NIA, including Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in a terror funding case. While the masterminds of terror attacks have remained at large, ten were arrested. So far only two have got bail, including South Kashmir photographer Kamran Yousuf.
Meanwhile, sources said that Asiya Andrabi and two of her female associates, who have been arrested in sedition case, are likely to be soon questioned regarding their role in Kashmir terror funding case. Though the organisation was named in the First Information Report (FIR), the anti-terror probe agency did not question the Dukhtaran-e-Milat chief.
Recently, the separatist women trio were sent for 30 day judicial custody in charges of sedition.