The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted bail to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in an alleged terror funding case in August 2017. The court ordered Watali to give a personal bail bond of Rs 2 lakh, two sureties of the same amount and demanded that he submit his passport, ANI reported.
The investigating agency raided his premises in June and August 2017, and claimed to have found “highly incriminating material pertaining to the receipt of funds by Watali from foreign sources, and its further distribution to terrorists and separatists in Kashmir Valley for anti-India activities”.
The raids were part of an investigation into the alleged militancy funding by Pakistan-based groups to stoke unrest in the Valley. Kashmir saw widespread violence after security forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016.
After the raids on June 3, 2017, the agency had arrested seven separatists – Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan, Ayaz Akbar, Shahid-ul-Islam and Bitta Karatay – for allegedly funding terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir. They were sent to judicial custody for two weeks.
Watali was lodged at the Tihar jail since his arrest. The businessman is the third of 12 accused to be released on bail in the case. A Delhi court had released freelance photojournalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmad Bhat in March.