NIA quizzes Kashmiri separatist leaders on funding for second day

Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) questioned Kashmiri separatists for the second day on Monday in connection with its probe into the role of LeT chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The NIA further questioned Farooq Ahmad Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’, Javed Ahmed Baba alias Prince alias Gazi in Srinagar regarding their involvement in raising, collecting and transferring funds through hawala and other channels for terror funding in Kashmir.

The central probe agency is probing all aspects of funding of separatist leaders and the use of these funds in fuelling the unrest in the Valley, the NIA spokesperson said in a statement.

The NIA has also collected details of 13 accused charge-sheeted so far in the cases in the Valley in the recent past, pertaining to the damage caused to schools and public property as part of the larger conspiracy to perpetuate violence and chaos in Kashmir.

Substantial progress has been made and the probe is continuing, the spokesperson said in a statement.

The NIA team, headed by the Additional Director General, had asked Naeem Khan, Farooq and Baba to appear before it for their explanation on an expose on a television channel where they had claimed to be receiving funds from Pakistan.

After initial reluctance, the three separatists fell in line and were questioned separately by the team of NIA, which named them in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) on Saturday.

In a statement, the NIA’s spokesperson said that the agency questioned Dar at Srinagar regarding the hawala and terror funding issue.

The NIA team will also be gathering evidence collected by the Jammu and Kashmir Police about the burning of schools as Khan had claimed that the educational institutions were targeted as per the plans hatched from across the border.

The schools were targeted last year after banned Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

Besides these three, NIA has named Saeed and Geelani in the PE, which precedes the filing of a case.

Khan, who was suspended by Geelani from Hurriyat yesterday, was seen on television during the sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups.

The NIA’s PE alleged that the separatists were receiving funds from the LeT chief to carry out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including pelting security forces with stones, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.

The NIA took cognisance of the news item related to a recording of conversations between a TV reporter and leaders of separatist groups operating in the Kashmir Valley in this regard.