The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday got 10-day custody of separatist leaders Shabbir Shah, Asiya Andrabi and Masarat Alam Bhat.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Syal sent the three to 10-day custody till 14 June, instead of 15 days demanded by the NIA. The separatist leaders have been arrested in connection with a terror funding case involving JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.

An NIA team brought Masrat Alam Bhat, alleged ringleader of stone pelting in Jammu-Kashmir, from a state prison to Delhi for questioning. Alam has also been the general secretary of All Parties Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Andrabi, the founder of Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Nation), was taken into custody in July 2018 for ‘waging war against India’. Shah is the founder of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP).

Andrabi and Shah are currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail.

The NIA had on 30 May 2017 filed an FIR against the separatists, charging them for links with terror outfits.

The NIA had earlier brought separatist leader Yasin Malik in Delhi in connection with the case.

So far, the agency has arrested several separatist leaders, including Aftab Hilali Shah 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 Syed Ali Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan.

Shahid-ul-Islam is Dar’s aide and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat. Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was arrested in August 2017.

The anti-terror agency, on 18 January 2018, filed a charge sheet against 12 persons, including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin in connection with the terror funding case.

(With IANS inputs.)