Press Trust of india

Delhi court dismisses bail plea of ex-MLA Rashid Engineer

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New Delhi, Feb 06:  A Delhi court Thursday dismissed the bail application of former independent MLA in Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, arrested in a case related to militancy-funding activities in the Valley.

Also known as Rashid Engineer, he was a legislator from the Langate Assembly seat in north Kashmir and is the first mainstream politician to have been arrested by the NIA in the case.

Special Judge Praveen Kumar rejected the application saying the prosecution has successfully established that “there exists reasonable grounds to believe the accusations against the accused are prima facie true”.

Rashid was arrested on August 09 last year, since he was unable to give any convincing answers to the questions, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.

His name had cropped up during the interrogation of businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested by the NIA for allegedly supplying money to militant groups and separatists in the Valley.

While dismissing the bail application, the court said, “The accused had received unaccounted funds from Zahoor Ahmad Watali (a co-accused in the case) against whom there has already been found to be reasonable grounds of existence of prima facie case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.”

“The applicant had incited, encouraged and helped stone-pelters. Accused, through his video, as discussed above, had tried to foment dissatisfaction in J-K police against the army. He had issued veiled threats to the police personnel of J-K,” it said.

The NIA had registered the case against separatist and secessionist leaders, including unidentified members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have allegedly been acting in connivance with active militants of proscribed militant organisations Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and “other outfits and gangs,” the officials said.

The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and militant activities in Jammu and Kashmir and for causing disruption in the Valley by way of pelting stones on the security forces, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India, the probe agency said in the FIR.

Hafiz Saeed has also been named in the FIR as an accused.

The FIR also names organisations such as the two factions of the Hurriyat, one led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the other by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat, an all-women outfit of separatists.

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