Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah sent to 14-day judicial custody
New Delhi: After intense grilling for two weeks, Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah was on Wednesday sent to a 14-day judicial custody by a court in New Delhi in a decade-old case of money laundering for alleged terror-financing.
Additional sessions judge Sidharth Sharma sent Shah to jail for two weeks after the accused was produced before him on the expiry of his Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody and after the central probe agency’s lawyer, N.K. Matta, told the court that he was not required for further custodial interrogation.
After the accused was sent to judicial custody, a bail application was moved by his lawyer M.S. Khan, claiming that the charges levelled against Shah were “motivated” and based on “falsehood” and that he was falsely implicated in the case.
The court directed the ED to file a response by 14 August on the plea, which claimed that Shah was innocent, had deep roots in the society and was a permanent resident of Srinagar and, therefore, there was no chance of him becoming an absconder or tampering with the prosecution evidence.
Shah was arrested by the ED on 25 July, a day after several Hurriyat leaders were taken into custody by the National Investigating Agency (NIA), in a case of alleged terror-funding in the valley to fuel unrest. He was taken into custody in the August 2005 case, in which the special cell of Delhi police had arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35), an alleged hawala dealer who is currently in ED custody till 14 August, claiming that Rs63 lakh were recovered from Wani, of which Rs52 lakh were allegedly to be delivered to Shah.
The agency had earlier issued summonses to Shah in the case, the prosecution had said, adding that Wani had claimed that he had given Rs2.25 crore to the Kashmiri separatist leader.
Investigating agencies such as the NIA have cracked down on Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law, Altaf Ahmed Shah, also known as Altaf Fantoosh, and six other Kashmiri separatists.