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Terror funding: Court reserves order on photojournalist's bail

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A today reserved its order on the plea of a freelance photo-journalist, arrested last year for alleged stone-pelting and other offences in the Valley, after he alleged that NIA was trying to gag the media.

reserved the order for February 19 after hearing arguments from accused and the probe agency, which had said that allegations levelled against him were serious.

The NIA had filed a charge sheet against the accused and 11 others, including and

The appearing for the accused told the court court that there was no evidence against the accused in the charge sheet.

"There is nothing in the charge sheet against my client. It only claims that he was in contact with other journalists but does not show any conspiracy with the other co-accused in the case," Warisha Farasat, appearing for Yusuf, said.

"They are trying to gag the media through his custody. Now NIA is trying to teach what journalism means. This is just an abuse of the process of law," the said.

The accused has sought the relief saying he was working as a and his presence at various stone pelting sites was merely because he was covering those incidents.

The NIA had earlier alleged in the court that the accused was acting as a conduit for those involved in terror funding.

"He (Yusuf) was working as a conduit to those raising funds and facilitating their motives. It was all part of a larger conspiracy," it had said.

The agency had alleged that Yusuf was an "active participant" in stone pelting and raising anti-national slogans and that there were some groups which showed he had links with the terror outfits.

Yusuf, a resident of Pulwama, was arrested in September last year along with one Javed Ahmed Bhat, a Kulgam resident, by the NIA in continuation of its probe in the funding of terror and separatist activities in the Valley.

The pleas of Bhat and Zahoor Watali, arrested in the case, is also pending before the court, which will hear arguments on the matter on February 23.

The agency said that the two accused had circulated pictures and videos on that sparked widespread rumours in the Valley.

Earlier, the NIA had arrested seven people in the case of alleged funding of terror and subversive activities in the Valley to fuel unrest there. The case was registered on issues of raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala channels, for funding such activities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 19:10 IST