Who is Separatist-turned-Terrorist Altaf Bhat?

| Updated: 11 February, 2022 3:18 pm IST

SRINAGAR: Two months after Jammu and Kashmir State Investigation Agency (SIA) booked separatist-turned-terrorist Zafar Akbar Bhat in a case of selling of MBBS seats in Pakistan, his brother Altaf Bhat is booked by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a huge graft case.

The FIA has filed a graft case against Altaf and 17 others for their involvement in embezzlement of over Rs 100 crore funds in the Central Board of Revenue Employees Cooperative Housing Society.

The case was filed during an enquiry ordered by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Altaf has allegedly gone underground in Pakistan.

Altaf, a resident of Bagh-e-Mehtab in Srinagar, is the brother of Salvation Movement founder and ex-militant commander Zafar Akbar Bhat, who was booked and detained by NIA in a terror funding case some years ago in Kashmir. Presently he is in judicial custody of SIA.

Both the brothers, Altaf and Zafar, are wanted by the Special Investigation Agency (SIA) in the Pakistan MBBS admissions scandal. In December, the SIA had submitted the chargesheet in a special court here against nine persons.

The SIA investigation revealed that the Hurriyat Conference leaders and their associates would collect funds under the guise of providing technical education to Kashmiri students in Pakistan.

“These people are the real conflict entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the system on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC),” said a local Kashmiri.

Altaf went to Pakistan in the early 90s with his brother Zafar. Around the same time, Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin, on becoming chief commander of the terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, also fled to Pakistan. Altaf was chosen by Salahuddin as his bodyguard. Zafar returned to India and remained active as the divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen for many years till he was arrested.

Salahuddin’s two sons, Syed Ahmad Shakeel and Shahid Yousuf, till recently were in government service. They were dismissed from government service a few weeks ago on the charges of involvement in terror funding.

NIA has tracked terror funding trails of both these men. They have been found involved in raising, receiving, collecting, and transferring funds through ‘hawala’ transactions for terror activities of Hizbul Mujahideen.

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