Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq did not appear before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi on Monday — the second time he has refused the agency’s summons — reiterating that there is “threat” to his personal safety if he were to travel to the capital.
Mirwaiz is the first separatist leader who has refused to appear in person before the investigating agency. He, however, has maintained that is ready to appear before the agency in the Valley.
“My client has serious concerns about his safety. The security (Z plus category) provided earlier to your knowledge, was withdrawn unilaterally, for reasons too well known,” Mirwaiz’s counsel said in his written response to NIA.
“Your attention is invited to some of the distressing comments which have appeared in the mainstream print media since the news of his summons to New Delhi. There are open calls for his assassination…. Having regard to the comments, merely stating in the notice that security will be provided appears to be perfunctory observation,” the response said.
Mirwaiz, through his counsel, however, once again said that he is ready to appear before NIA in Srinagar. “My client is willing and was always willing to be examined by the agency. It is once again urged that such examination and sting be held at Srinagar,” the written response said.
The NIA had first summoned Mirwaiz on March 11, asking him to appear before it in a terror-funding probe in which several separatist leaders have already been arrested. Mirwaiz refused the summons, citing safety concerns, and instead sent a written response to the agency saying he is ready for examination in Srinagar.
He said that he is being “victimized for his political views advocating the cause of Kashmir”.