New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a charge sheet against 12 people, including Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, for alleged terror funding and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Altaf Ahmed Shah, one of the 12, is Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law, while another person Bitta Karate has close links to the Hurriyat. Both Shah and Karate were arrested by the NIA in July.

“The National Investigation Agency registered this case on 30 May 2017 and the first arrests were made on 24 July 2017. During the course of investigation, the NIA teams conducted searches at over 60 locations spread across the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi and seized over 950 incriminating documents and over 600 electronic devices. During the investigation, over 300 witnesses were examined," the agency said in a statement.

While the Hurriyat and other separatist leaders have been the intellectual and political face of militancy in Kashmir, this (the arrest and the charge-sheeting) sets in stone the fact that the separatists have links to Pakistan-sponsored terror organizations, it added.

“The scrutiny and analysis of the documents and digital devices established that the accused persons—the Hurriyat leaders, the terrorists and the stone-pelters are carrying out terrorist attacks and orchestrating violence, stone-pelting and other subversive and secessionist activities in J&K… with the active support, connivance and funding from terrorist organizations based in Pakistan," the NIA statement said.

Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the agency is required to file a charge sheet within six months from the date of arrest, failing which the accused are eligible for bail.

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