June 2002 News

Bhat may hold key to ISI slush funds

17 June 2002
The Hindustan Times
Sudhi Ranjan Sen and Vinay Menon

Jammu: JAILED ALL Party Hurriyat Conference leader, Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, may hold the key to the ISI slush funds that are allegedly flowing into the valley through Syed All Shah Geelani. Bhat's premises in the Capital (205- Nadir Apartment, Okhia) was raided along with the premises of Sayeed Geelani and that of his son-in law, Iftikhar Geelani. The investigation unit of the Income Tax department which de-sealed the bank locker of Aneesa Batui Geelani. daughter of Syed Geelani, is alleged to have recovered two property documents the power of attorney of Syed Geelani's house in Gupta Colony and a document relating to the house of Iftikhar Geelani, also in Gupta Colony in Malviya Nagar. The locker that was searched today is in the Malviya Nagar branch of Bank of Punjab. The power of attorney pertaining to Syed Geelani's house is alleged to be in the name of Ghulam Mohammed Bhat. "Bank accounts of Ghulam Mohammed Bhat reveal huge and sudden inflow of funds and sudden withdrawal," sources in the I-T department pointed out. The I-T department is examining a dozen bank accounts to trace the flow of funds. "The number of accounts that will be scrutinised is likely to go up," officers claimed. Besides the two property documents, the Income Tax Department also reportedly found Rs 40,000 in cash, US $210,7 Pakistani Rupees and 15 UK pounds. About 76 grams of household jewellery was also recovered from the locker. While it was earlier maintained that the house of Syed Geelani was taken on rent, the investigations of the income tax department are reported to have revealed that Geelani had bought the house. The payment was made in cash. Sources said that this was revealed to the Income Tax department by the builder of the house. Counsel for Iftikhar Geelani, VK Ohri, speaking to Hindustan Times said that the seizures made no difference to the case against Iftikhar Geelani under the, Official Secrets Act. "These could have been recovered from anyone's house," he said. On the issue of Ghulam Mohammed Bhat holding the power of attorney for Syed Geelani's house, Ohri said that "not only are they (Bhat and Geelani) in politics together, they are close friends too and Syed might need people to manage his property."


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