NIA to probe Geelani and others for receiving funds from Pakistan
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the role of Lashker-e-Taiba chief Hafeez Mohammed Saeed and hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NIA named the two in its preliminary enquiry (PE), which precedes the filing of a case. It also named Naeem Khan, who was seen on television during a sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups.
The others named in the PE were Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’ and Gazi Javed Baba of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
The NIA team arrived in Srinagar on Friday to question those named in the PE and to collect documentary evidence against them. The LeT chief is based in Pakistan.
“The agency is going to carry out a PE, which is the first step before a first information report (FIR) is filed, to probe if the mentioned people and agencies associated to them carried out subversive activities in Kashmir and damaged public property, incited stone-pelting on the security forces, burning of schools and other government establishments,” said a senior NIA official on condition of anonymity.
In a PE, the NIA can ask those named in the case to appear before it but cannot force them to do so, or arrest them. The NIA team will be reviewing evidence collected in connection with the burning of schools last year after the Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy, Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.
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 has also taken cognisance of a 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, he said.
Shaswati Das of Mint contributed to this story