Close on the heels of the attachment of the seventeen properties of the alleged terror financier Zahoor Watali, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has on Tuesday attached the properties of the Hurriyat Conference spokesman Mohammad Akbar Khanday aka Ayaz Akbar in the Kashmir terror funding case of 2017.
Under the orders of a Special NIA Court in New Delhi, Khanday’s two-storey residential house and 9 kanals of land were attached under section 33(1) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act at Maloora, a village on Srinagar-Bandipora Road on the outskirts of the capital city.
Arrested on 24 July, 2017, Khanday has been lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail along with others who have been detained in the terror funding case, registered suo moto by the NIA. For about 14 years, Khanday functioned as the press and public relations incharge of the separatist hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and a spokesperson of the Geelani-headed Hurriyat Conference.
The NIA spokesman said that Khanday was raising and collecting funds from within India and abroad through various illegal channels and was using the same to sponsor and promote separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Khanday, who was closely connected with other separatist leaders of the APHC, was operating in close association with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) and he used to collect funds for unlawful and violent activities. He was also actively involved in activities aimed at secession of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India, the NIA investigations have revealed”, said the NIA press release.
“The case, filed suo moto by NIA in May 2017, relates to terrorist and secessionist activities being carried out by ISI-backed proscribed terrorist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir. These banned outfits, including Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) etc, were using the APHC as a front for their activities, NIA investigations have revealed. They were spreading terror and perpetrating violence in the Kashmir valley by promoting and conducting attacks on civilians and security forces”, it added.
The agency has so far filed charge-sheets against 17 persons, including Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based Amir of Jamaat-ud-Dawah and LeT and a UN-listed terrorist and Mohammad Yusuf Shah aka Syed Salahuddin, the Chief of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM)”, the NIA spokesperson said.
After Geelani’s death on 1 September 2021, his organisation and amalgam of several pro-Pakistan groups have been left virtually leaderless. While neither of his two sons and none of his four daughters has opted to carry forward the legacy of Geelani’s pro-Pakistan politics, his only son-in-law in politics, Altaf Ahmad Shah aka Fantoosh, died of cancer on 11 October 2022. Khanday has been in jail since 2017.