Srinagar: Nearly two weeks after NIA sleuths raided Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s home in Srinagar to conduct searches in connection with an alleged terror funding case, the Central anti-terror agency has summoned Kashmir’s chief Muslim cleric and separatist leader to New Delhi for questioning.
Separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s younger son Naseem Geelani has also been served a similar summon, asking him to appear before the NIA in New Delhi on Monday.
The Mirwaiz has been asked to appear before the probe agency at its headquarters in New Delhi’s Lodhi Road on Monday morning.
Sources close to the Mirwaiz said that he is consulting lawyers on whether he should present himself before the NIA or ignore the call.
“The notice issued to him is inappropriate. Nevertheless, he is in consultation with his lawyers on the issue,” said an aide of the cleric and politician. The sources indicated that the Mirwaiz may not obey the call.
The NIA had on February 26 raided the homes of the Mirwaiz, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sahrai, Nayeem Geelani (elder son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani) and Zaffar Akbar Bhat.
While Mr Malik was in police custody when his home in Srinagar’s Maisuma locality was searched and has since been shifted to Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail after being formally detained under the State’s stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), Mr. Shah is lodged is Delhi’s Tihar jail for past more than 22 months.
Meanwhile, the ministry of defence on Saturday termed as incorrect the reports of abduction of an Army soldier in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district and said that the “individual is safe”.
These reports had said that an off-duty Army jawan Muhammad Yaseen was kidnapped at gunpoint by suspected militants in Budgam’s Qazipora village on Friday night. The police had said that Mr Yaseen, a soldier of the Army’s Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), unit was on leave at home when kidnapped by a ground of masked gunmen.
Deputy inspector general of police (Central Kashmir) V K Birdi had said that three persons believed to be militants barged into Mr Yaseen’s home at Qazipora and took him along.
The ministry said, “Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier (Muhammad Yaseen) on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam(J&K) are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided.”
In June last year, an Army soldier Aurangzeb of 44 Rashtriya Rifles posted in south Kashmir’s Shopian district was abducted by militants as he left to unit to celebrate Id at his home in frontier district of Poonch. The same evening his bullet-riddled body was found ten kilometres away from the place of kidnapping, evoking a nation-wide outrage.