New Delhi: In an unprecedented action against separatists and terror funding, the income tax department on Monday seized a prime Delhi property of one of the top separatists, Syed Ali Shah Geelani in lieu of massive tax defaults.

Geelani’s property — Flat number JD-18/2, 2nd Floor, Gupta Colony, Khirki Extension, Malviya Nagar — was seized by the income tax department against pending tax liability of nearly Rs 4 crore for assessment years 1996-97 to 2001-02.

As per the order served by Delhi’s tax recovery officer with the income tax department, the assessment was drawn up by the tax recovery officer, Jammu. 

The notice also said that the assessment officer of the department had sent a certified copy of the assessment which included Rs 3,62,62,160 plus the interest payable for the delay which needed to be recovered from Geelani.

“It is ordered that you are hereby prohibited and restrained until further order of the undersigned, from transferring or charging the under mentioned property, which is included in the property of the defaulter by virtue of the Explanation to sub-section (1) of section 222 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, in any way and that all persons be, and that they are hereby prohibited from taking any benefit under such transfer or charge,” the Income Tax order said.

Earlier, the Centre had formed an eight-member team comprising NIA, CBI, CBDT to strike at the terror funding networks in Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian agencies have been consistently striking at separatist properties since the Pulwama terror attack in February this year.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has already identified some 30 properties in the Valley and several in Delhi which belong to the separatists and have been acquired through unaccounted for money. 

Earlier, the ED had also attached the ancestral home of separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah in Kashmir’s Rawalpora area.