Separatist hawk and chairman of hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani (82) was questioned by the Delhi Police on Wednesday for recommending visa to a Kashmiri youth, whom police allege of planning to bomb Delhi.
The veteran leader went to the Lodhi Colony police station along with his two advocates and an aide, a day after being summoned by the police. Owing to health reasons, Geelani, often, spends his winters in the capital at his Malviya Nagar residence to escape the intense chill of Kashmir.
Spokesman of the leader Ayaz Akbar said Geelani was questioned by the deputy commissioner of police, special cell, whether and why he had recommended Ahtesham Malik, whom police charge of planning to bomb Delhi, for a visa of Pakistan.
Ayaz Akbar said the (Geelani) remained adamant on his stand of facilitating those intending to visit Pakistan. "Yes, I facilitate those going to Pakistan and it is not an offence," Akbar quoted Geelani as saying.
On February 29, the Delhi Police claimed to have foiled a major attack by Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives after arresting two youth from Tughlaqabad Extension in south Delhi. Police said Ahtesham Malik, 24, and Shafaqat Ali, 23, both residents of Sopore town, were assembling improvised explosive devices (IED) to target crowded places in Delhi.
The police also claimed that Malik travelled to Pakistan last summer using a valid passport and was trained in "bomb-making and explosives", before returning. The police alleged that Malik could only secure his visa to Pakistan after getting a recommendation from Geelani.
"Geelani sahib told them that he recommends every Kashmiri for a visa whosoever comes to him with a valid passport," Akbar said. "He also presented the format of the letter used for the recommendations," said Akbar.
The spokesman said the Delhi Police were informed about the process of the leader to recommend a person. "We investigate whether the passport is genuine or not. To find whether the person is good or bad is the work of passport authorities who issue it," Akbar said.
"If it is a crime then I confess to this crime and I will continue to do so," Geelani, said his spokesman, told the Delhi Police.
The spokesman also informed that the leader condemned the terrorist activities of every individual, organisation or state.
"Neither we are terrorists nor have we anything against the people of India. We just want our basic rights which Indian rulers have promised us from time to time," the leader told the police in the capital.