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After Kashmir raids, NIA set to grill separatist leaders on illegal funding

After a spate of raids on Kashmiri separatist leaders, the NIA is set to tighten the screws on them and plans to grill them about the cash and gold seized during the raids.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2017 22:07 IST
Rajesh Ahuja and Abhishek Saha
Rajesh Ahuja and Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Srinagar
NIA,Hurriyat leadership,Illegal funding
A combination photo of Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. (Agencies)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) intends to grill the top Hurriyat leadership following the raids on the premises of separatists leaders, their associates and suspected hawala dealers in the Valley and Delhi for receiving illegal funds.

The raids followed an FIR by the NIA in which the agency accused unnamed Hurriyat leaders and leaders and associates of three terror outfits Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Dukhtaran-e-Millat of getting funding from LeT patron Hafiz Mohammed Saeed to fuel violence that includes stone pelting on security forces and setting ablaze schools and government buildings.

“All top Hurriyat leaders including chairman of its hardline faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani will be summoned for questioning and they will be confronted with each other and the evidence brought out during the raids to take the probe further. The scrutiny of documents seized in raids is on,” said a senior NIA official who spoke on the condition on anonymity.

The NIA is already questioning some of suspects whose premises have been raided.

“During the course of searches, several bank accounts have been detected and currencies of Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia have been found and seized, apart from a lot of other incriminating material like correspondence with jailed troublemakers, suspicious transactions and mobile phones,” an NIA spokesman said.

The seizures also include letterheads of Hizbul Mujahideen and LeT and other incriminating documents like katchacha (informal) receipts and vouchers.

The joint separatist leadership consisting of the heads of the two Hurriyat factions - Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chief Yasin Malik said in a joint statement that the policy of “witch hunt launched by the Indian state against the resistance leadership and the business community of the valley to defame and weaken the people’s political struggle and simultaneously cripple the economy of Kashmir is despicable and deplorable to say the least.”

The Hurriyat leadership has called a joint meeting on Monday at Geelani’s residence to “discuss this situation and its implications on hapless Kashmiris including the business community”. The Hurriyat will address a press conference after the meetng.

In a separate press statement, Geelani said, “Indian authorities, its agencies and particularly NIA, are unnecessarily harassing Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leadership and its activists.”

In the last two days, the NIA has raided 33 locations in Srinagar, Jammu, Delhi and in Haryana.

The NIA raided Geelani’s son-in-law’s house on Saturday.

The spokesman added that prominent among those raided by the NIA on Sunday are Tariq Ahmed Khan, ex-president of the LOC Traders Association, Farooq Baggu and Kamal Bittu of Jammu.

The NIA also raided another house of Zahoor Watali, brother of former inspector general of police Ali Muhammad Watali, in Gurgaon. On Saturday, the NIA had raided another house of Zahoor.

First Published: Jun 04, 2017 20:01 IST