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J-K MLA Rashid Engineer quizzed by NIA in terror funding case

Rashid is the first mainstream politician to have been summoned by the NIA in the terror funding case.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2017 23:34 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Rashid Engineer,NIA,Terror funding case
Independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid Sheikh in Srinagar.(HT File photo)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday questioned independent MLA from Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdul Rashid, popularly known as Rashid Engineer, in a case related to the funding of terror activities in the Valley, officials said.

Rashid, who represents the Langate assembly seat from north Kashmir, was questioned for nearly six hours and has been asked to appear again on Wednesday, the officials said.

Coming out of the NIA headquarters, Rashid did not take any questions from the waiting media persons saying, “I do not wish to comment on an ongoing investigation.

“Thank you for waiting but it will be inappropriate on my part to talk about the probe,” Rashid, who is the first mainstream politician to have been summoned by the NIA in the case, said.

Earlier, before entering the NIA headquarters, Rashid said that he had nothing to hide.

“After trial in the media started about my name, I had approached the speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to initiate a probe and find out the truth,” he had said earlier in the day.

The MLA said he had full faith in the justice system.

Rashid’s name had cropped up during the interrogation of businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested by the NIA for allegedly supplying money to terror groups and separatists in the Valley.

The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against separatist and secessionist leaders, including unknown members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have been acting in connivance with active militants of proscribed terrorist organisations Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other outfits and gangs, officials said.

The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir and for causing disruption in the Valley by pelting the security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India, the probe agency said in the FIR.

Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud- Dawa, the front of the Lashker-e-Taiba, has been named in the FIR as an accused.

The NIA has arrested 10 people so far in connection with alleged funding of terror activities case which includes pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah and Watali.

Geelani’s close aides Ayaz Akbar, who is also spokesperson of the hardline separatist organisation Tehreek- e-Hurriyat, and Peer Saifullah have been also been arrested.

Others in the list are Shahid-ul-Islam, spokesperson of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’, photo-journalist Kamran Yusuf and Javed Ahmed Bhat.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 23:30 IST