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Court accepts charges against Kashmiri separatists

A court on Friday accepted framing of charges against Pakistan-based Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin and seven Kashmiri separatist leaders, accused of stoking unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.

After taking cognisance of a NIA charge-sheet, Judge Tarun Sahrawat directed the probe agency to supply the copies of the charge-sheet to the accused.

The court listed the matter for a March 08 hearing.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on January 18 filed charges under stringent anti-terror laws against the jailed separatist leaders for allegedly conspiring with Saeed and Salahuddin to wage war against India and secede Jammu and Kashmir.

The NIA also charged businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali, freelance photojournalist Kamran Yousuf and Kulgam youth Javed Ahmed Bhat.

Bhat and Yousuf of Kulgam and Pulwama districts in Jammu and Kashmir were arrested on September 05 last year while Watali was arrested on August 17.

The separatists, who were arrested on July 24, 2017, are Aftab Hilali 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 Hurriyat-G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Islam is a close aide of Hurriyat-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat-G.

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