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SIA attaches JeI properties including house registered in Geelani’s name

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Investigation Agency (SIA) on Saturday attached several Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) properties worth over Rs 100 crore including a house here registered in the name of late pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, officials said.

“The SIA has unearthed further assets of the banned JeI in Pulwama, Kulgam, Budgam, and Srinagar districts. The properties at a dozen locations worth Rs 122.89 crore approximately after being notified by the DMs concerned on the recommendation of SIA have been barred with restrictions on usage and entry,” the officials said.

They said the properties notified on Saturday include a residential house registered in Geelani’s name.

The officials said the two-storey residential house over 17 marlas and 199 square feet at Barzulla South is in the name of Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Firdous Ahmad Asmi.

The property was believed to have been purchased in the late 1990s by Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) and was registered in Geelani’s name who used to live there till early 2000 when he shifted to the Hyderpora area of the city.

Geelani died in September last year.

The property was later used as the residence of Ameer’ (chief) of the JeI, the officials said.

A search was also carried out in the house, the ground floor of which has been occupied by one Shahzada Aurangzeb, resident of Moolu Chitragam area of Shopian since November 2018.

The officials said Aurangzeb himself is a permanent ‘Rukn’ (member) of the JeI and has also served as ‘Ameer-e-Zila’ Shopian district.

A notarized rent deed has also been executed in this regard in September 2020 for a period of five years at a monthly rent of Rs 1,000. However, no rent has till date been paid. From the search carried out, a mobile phone of the tenant with a SIM inserted in it has been recovered and seized, the officials added.

The other properties notified among others include Al-Huda Health Care Centre, shops and school building over land measuring six kanals 18 marlas in Pulwama, and non-functional ‘Darsgah’ (religious seminary) over four marlas of land at Nowbal Kulgam.

The officials said the SIA’s action is part of the seizure of several properties belonging to the JeI. These properties of JeI are the fourth set of properties to be notified in a series of properties belonging to the banned organisation.

The SIA has identified as many as 188 JeI properties across the Union Territory that have either been notified or are under the process of being notified for further legal action, they said.

These are a result of an investigation of case FIR number 17 of 2019 U/S 10, 11 and 13 of Police Station Batmaloo being investigated by the agency, they said.

The move is aimed at “choking the availability of funds for secessionist activities and to dismantle the ecosystem of anti-national elements and terror networks hostile to India’s sovereignty,” the officials said.

“The action would uproot the menace of terror funding to a great extent in the UT, besides being a stepping stone in ensuring rule of law and a society without fear,” SIA said.

These premises/ structures have been barred and entry and usage has been prohibited, reads the notification. Besides “Red entry” to this effect has been made in the relevant revenue records.

During the seizure proceedings, the officials said it was found that about a dozen business establishments in Kulgam including a shopping complex at Magam are currently running from these JeI properties on rent basis.

After due diligence, it was decided that these would be allowed to continue so that private persons who may not have any connections with the JeI and are only tenants paying rent to it, are not penalized and their livelihood not impaired, the SIA said.

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