New Delhi: In a headway that may help it get an insight into the funding pattern of separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir, NIA has taken the custody of dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Mohammed Shafi Shah.
Shah alias Dawood, a resident of Bandipore in north Kashmir, was brought from Kashmir last week after NIA secured his police remand till June 17, official sources said.
NIA has already declared Syed Salahuddin, chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, as a proclaimed offender in the case which relates to his outfit as one of the most active terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir with strong bases in Pulwama, Kupwara, Sopore, Budgam, Doda, Baramula and Srinagar.
He was arrested by Jammu and Kashmir Police in 2011 and lodged in jail on charges of being a close aide of Salahuddin, the sources said, adding his questioning may help the agency in finding more clues in this case.
The NIA said in its case that the terror group was being regularly and systematically funded from across the border for promoting terrorist activities in India. The funding is being routed through a frontal organisation of Hizb -- Jammu and Kashmir Affectees Relief Trusts (JKART) which has its head office in Rawalpindi and branches in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad in PoK.
This organisation was formed in 1990 for operating refugee camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for Kashmiris who crossed over to Pakistan after militancy broke out in the state in the 1990s.
The NIA probe claims Salahuddin has also used JKART as a front to fund militant activities in various parts of the state and pumped in more than Rs 80 crore in the last two years through various conduits.
An Interpol Red Corner warrant "A-66/2-1998" was issued against Mohammed Yusuf Shah alias Salahuddin, who heads a conglomerate of terror outfits-- United Jehad Council, in 1998 at the request of Delhi Police for his alleged involvement in various terror-related activities.