Separatist leader’s younger son Naseem summoned for questioning.
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) probe into a case of terror funding in the Kashmir Valley gained momentum on Sunday with raids being conducted on the office and residence of a Jammu-based lawyer linked to hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the agency summoning Mr Geelani’s younger son Naseem for questioning.
The NIA is probing if lawyer Devinder Singh Behal, who is the chairman of the Jammu & Kashmir Social Peace Forum (JKSPF) that is part of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat headed by Mr Geelani, has any role in diversion of funds to separatists in the Valley.
Mr Behal is also a member of the legal cell of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat and has been seen attending funeral processions of militants. During the raids on Mr Behal’s properties in Jammu, the NIA recovered documents, mobile phones and a tablet. These will be sent for forensic examination to collecting more evidence, officials said.
This is the second raid in Jammu in connection with the case of terror funding. Earlier, the agency had raided a businessman. Meanwhile, Mr Geelani tried to call a press conference at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar on Sunday but the police denied media persons permission to enter the premises where he has been under house arrest for the past many months. Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was also not allowed to hold a press conference on Saturday.
NIA officials claimed that they were now probing the role of couriers who helped separatists in routing funds from across the border. The probe agency has summoned Naseem, younger son of Mr Geelani, for questioning on Wednesday.
Mr Geelani’s elder son, Nayeem, was summoned by the NIA for questioning in the capital on Monday but he has been admitted to hospital in Srinagar following a complaint of chest pain. Nayeem, a surgeon who is tipped as the natural successor to Mr Geelani, had returned from Pakistan in 2010 after spending 11 years.
The NIA has arrested seven separatists, including Mr Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, in the terror funding case. Besides him, Mr Geelani’s close aides Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Nayeem Khan and Peer Saifullah were arrested last week.
Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Merajuddin Kalwal, and Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’ were also arrested. All of them have been remanded to 10 days NIA custody.
In the May 30 FIR, the NIA named Hafiz Saeed, leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa and terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, as an accused along with members of Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat. Both factions of the Hurriyat Conference have also been named.
They accused have been charged with raising, receiving and collecting funds through illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in the Valley and causing disruptions by way of pelting security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.