New Delhi, August 8: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a bid to curb terror funding and subversive activities in the valley on Tuesday questioned hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani's sons, Naeem Zafar Geelani and Naseem at its headquarters in New Delhi.
Notably, the central agency questioned separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani's sons, Naeem Zafar Geelani and Naseem as part of its probe into a money trail to expose how Pakistan sent cash to separatists for stoking unrest in the Kashmir Valley.
The officials of NIA aid the Geelani brothers arrived at the NIA headquarters here around 11 a.m. after evading the counter-terror agency's earlier summons. The NIA had issued summons to Naeem, a doctor who was once based in Pakistan, on July 27 and August 1 but he failed to appear before the agency as he was hospitalized in Srinagar.
Geelani's younger son Naseem, who works at an agricultural university in Srinagar, was summoned to appear before NIA on August 2. He also did not come saying the notice should be served through Vice Chancellor of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Agriculture Science so that he was permitted to take leave.
The action of NIA comes after the probe agency raided the house and office of Devinder Singh Behl in money laundering case and arrested him from his residence. Devinder Singh Behl is a businessman and close aide of Syed Ali Shah Geelani allegedly involved in the money laundering case and funded anti-national elements to create unrest in Kashmir.
On the other side, the arrest of Devinder Singh Behl Comes after the central agency arrested seven Kashmiri separatist leaders including Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah and moderate Hurriyat chairman’s close aide Shahid-ul-Islam in connection with its probe into the funding of terror and subversive activities in Kashmir. All are in the remand of NIA for custodial interrogation in the case. According to the sources, more arrest is possible in the terror funding and money laundering case.
The arrest comes a month after NIA raided eight and fourteen locations of Delhi, Haryana and Kashmir respectively in connection with the terror funding case. The case came into the limelight after a sting operation surfaced in which he purportedly confessed by Nayeem Khan to receiving funds from Pakistan to create unrest in the Kashmir Valley. After this, Geelani suspended Khan from the basic membership of Hurriyat conference in May.
However, Hafeez Saeed who is Pakistan-based chief of the Jamaat-ud Dawa, the front of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, has been named in the FIR as an accused, in addition to organizations such as the Hurriyat Conference, Hizbul Mujaheedin and Dukhtaran-e-Milat. The NIA in the same context had also searched the premises of others like Shahid-ul-Islam, an aide of Farooq's, who heads the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference. The NIA had recovered some account books, Rs 2 crore in cash and letterheads of banned terror groups, including the LeT and the Hizbul Mujahideen, during its searches.
In 2002, the Income Tax department had raided the establishments of some separatist leaders, including Geelani, and seized cash and documents. Interestingly, this the first time since the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the early 1990s, NIA had carried out raids in connection with the funding of separatists.