LAST WEEK, when the NIA summoned Naeem Geelani, elder son of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for questioning, it had nothing to do with its probe into the suspected funding of the ongoing protests in Kashmir. Naeem Geelani was, in fact, summoned in a case where his father is facing a far more serious charge — allegedly accepting “terror funds” linked to Hizbul Mujahideen from Pakistan.
Sources said Naeem Geelani was summoned in connection with a 2011 case of terror funding, in which four alleged Hizbul Mujahideen operatives are in jail and two more accused are absconding. NIA has accused Syed Ali Shah Geelani of having received “terror-linked funds” from Pakistan in its chargesheet.
In the preliminary probe, NIA has so far not found any link to the bank accounts under scanner.
The case dates back to January 22, 2011, when the Delhi Police arrested Hizbul operatives Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga in Srinagar, with over Rs 20 lakh of hawala money. It subsequently arrested another operative, Mohd Sidiq Ganai, but the case was soon transferred to NIA.
During investigations, NIA found that between 2008 and 2011, the accused had routed over Rs 4.5 crore from Pakistan to Kashmir via Delhi. This money was reportedly distributed among “separatists and terror groups” for “anti-national activities”. A considerable amount is alleged to have found its way to Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
According to the NIA chargesheet filed in 2011, Ghulam Mohammed Bhat joined Jamaat-e-Islami in 1992 and in 2003-04 joined “Tehrik-e-Hurriyat headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani”. “He is legal advisor to All Party Hurriyat Conference (Geelani) and is a key person for raising funds for carrying out anti-national and subversive activities of Hizbul Mujahideen and Hurriyat Conference,” it said.
It also noted his past arrests under the Public Safety Act in Kashmir and quoted a 2007 case where one Jamali Khan was arrested with his wife in Udhampur and Rs 46,89,500 recovered from his car. “During questioning, Khan disclosed that… the money was sent by Ghulam Mohammed Bhat… for onward delivery to Syed Ali Shah Geelani,” said the chargesheet.
The case, the chargesheet said, is pending trial in an Udhampur court.
Meanwhile, sources said that the NIA team camping in Kashmir could not interrogate Naeem as they had to leave. He will be summoned again.