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HC grants bail to Kashmiri businessman in terror funding case
New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted bail to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali in a terror funding case and directed him not to leave the country without permission.
A bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs two lakh with two sureties of the like amount.
Watali had challenged the trial court’s June 8 order rejecting his bail plea. The High Court set aside the trial court’s June 8 order.
The court said that he will not influence or intimidate the witnesses or tamper with the evidence in any manner and surrender his passport.
The court directed Watali to report to the investigating officer of the case as and when required, provide the phone number on which he can be contacted and his current address to the probe agency and the trial court and inform promptly if there is any change in either.
Watali was arrested on August 17, 2017, and was charge-sheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on January 18 along with Pakistan-based terrorist leaders Hafiz Saeed, Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others in the case of alleged terror funding in the Kashmir Valley.
They were charge-sheeted under stringent anti-terror laws for hatching a conspiracy with Saeed and Salahuddin to wage a war against India to secede Jammu and Kashmir.
The separatists, who were arrested on July 24, 2017, are Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.
Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan.
Shahid-ul-Islam is an aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.