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Kashmiri separatist Ayub Thakur dies

March 10, 2004 22:49 IST

London-based Kashmiri separatist Dr Ayub Thakur, who is accused of funding terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir through his charitable organisation Mercy

Universal, died on Wednesday morning after a protracted illness. He was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.

The nuclear physicist, whose Indian passport was impounded in 1986, died at the St Mary's hospital, Paddington, in central London.

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Thakur (55), president of the World Kashmir Freedom Movement, is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

British officials had begun an investigation into the activities of Thakur who is alleged to have sent nearly 70,000 pounds to Syed Salahuddin, the supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen two years ago. The money was allegedly passed on to 'militant commanders' through Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Britain's Charity Commission, which regulates registered charities in England, had begun an investigation into the allegations, originally made by businessman Imtiaz Ahmad Bazaz after he was arrested in India on terrorism charges.

Thakur was in a Srinagar jail for several years in connection with the separatist movement before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference has demanded that Thakur be buried in the Kashmir valley. "This was his last wish and it should be respected by the government," senior Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq told PTI.

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