SRINAGAR, Mar 2: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) attached the house of Al-Umar chief Mushtaq Zargar alias Latram in Nowhatta area of Srinagar early today.
The attachment of the property by the NIA comes as Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared Zargar, presently in Pakistan, as designated terrorist under the UAPA. The property includes a three room dilapidated ancestral house.
An NIA team, assisted by local police and paramilitary CRPF, attached the property of Zargar situated in Nowhatta area of Srinagar early this morning.
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The NIA said that Zargar was wanted in several militancy cases, including the kidnapping of the daughter of the then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed in 1989.
Terming it as a “major offensive” against militants operating from the Pakistani soil, the spokesperson said that Zargar’s two marlas (544 sq feet) house (Khasra No. 182) at Ganai Mohalla, Jamia Masjid, Nowhatta, Srinagar, has been attached under the provisions of stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
“The procedure was carried out today by a team of the NIA along with the representative of district administration and local police. Zargar is a ‘Designated Individual Terrorist’ under the UAPA and has been operating from Pakistan ever since his release and funding terror activities in the valley,” the spokesperson said.
The NIA team pasted the notice of attachment on his house in presence of his sister.
Zargar, after breaking ranks with banned JKLF terror group in late 1990, had formed Al-Umar Mujahideen group that was responsible for killings in downtown Srinagar.
Hailing from the downtown city and a coppersmith by profession before joining terror ranks, Zargar was arrested in 1992. His name was found in the list of militants to be exchanged for passengers of 1999 IC-814 hijacking of Indian Airlines plane and he was subsequently released and taken by the then External Affairs Minister of BJP-led Government Jaswant Singh to Kandahar in Afghanistan on December 31, 1999.
The others released included Masood Azhar, one of the founders of Harkat-ul-Ansar group and now heading banned Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, and Sheikh Omar, who is at present on a death row in Pakistan for killing American journalist Daniel Pearl.
Zargar, after being exchanged at Kandahar airport, shifted his base to Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad town from where he attempted to revive Al-Umar Mujahideen.
Zargar was designated as a terrorist under the UAPA in April last year, a move which enabled the security agencies to attach his property.