Terror funding: NIA summons Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Nassem Geelani for questioning

New Delhi (IANS) The National Investigation Agency has summoned Jammu and Kashmir's separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and son of Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Naseem Geelani, for questioning in its ongoing probe into the terror funding case.

NIA sources said Mirwaiz Farooq, Chairman of the Awami Action Committee, and Naseem Geelani would be questioned at agency's headquarters in the national capital on Monday.

A source said that Farooq and Geelani were summoned by the anti-terror probe agency on Thursday. 

The NIA action comes almost 11 days after it carried out searches at the residence of several separatist leaders at multiple locations in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Besides Farooq and Geelani's residence, the NIA had also searched the residences of top separatist leaders -- Yasin Malik, Chairman of JKLF, Shabbir Shah, President JKDFP, Mohammad Ashraf Khan, Chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Masarat Alam, General Secretary APHC and Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Chairman JKSM. 

The NIA had recovered several incriminating documents involving property, financial transactions receipts and bank account details. The NIA also seized electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and DVRs. 

During the searches, the NIA had recovered letter heads of different terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in Pakistan's educational institutions. 

From the residence of Farooq, the NIA had recovered a high-tech internet communication setup.

The anti-terror agency had on January 18 last year filed chargesheet against 12 persons including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, seven Kashmiri separatist leaders and others in the case of alleged terror funding in the Kashmir Valley. The agency had registered a case in May 2017 against several people.

The separatist leaders arrested in the case on July 24, 2017 are Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.

Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who advocates Jammu and Kashmir's merger with Pakistan. Shahid-ul-Islam is an aide of moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led Hurriyat.

Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali was also arrested in the case on August 17, 2017, and was on September 12 granted bail by the Delhi High Court. 

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