Days after the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir fell, after the BJP withdrew support, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has begun its crackdown on separatists and has called, among others, a Hurriyat faction member related to a PDP legislator for questioning in connection with a case of terror funding.
Sources said the agency last week called for questioning 10 people from the Valley, including Hurriyat leaders. They were questioned on suspicion that they played a role in funding anti-India agitations.
It is learnt that among those called is Mohammad Shafi Reshi, an advocate affiliated to Hurriyat’s S A S Geelani faction and is uncle of Yasir Reshi, an MLC of the PDP.
Another person called is Hurriyat leader Ghulam Nabi Sumji, sources said. A former MLA of Muslim United Front, Sumji had resigned from the Assembly in 1989 to join the Hurriyat to represent Muslim Conference. Last month, the then Mehbooba Mufti government had approved Sumji’s pension application in what was seen as an attempt to make peace with the Hurriyat.
Sources said that barring one, none of those summoned have turned up for questioning — they are understood to have sought more time. “Most of them have said they are not well. They will be called for questioning again,” said an official privy to investigation details.
Last week, the NIA had questioned Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, an accountant working with Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, who has been arrested by the NIA in the case and is presently in jail. Bhat had been questioned earlier as well in the case.
After registering a case in May last year against Hurriyat leaders for fomenting trouble in the Valley with funds from Pakistan-backed terror groups such as LeT and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the NIA had raided 12 locations across Kashmir. These included houses and offices of several Hurriyat leaders and people associated with them.
Houses of Bhat, Reshi and Sumji were among those searched. Sources said the other people called for questioning are also among those whose premises have been either searched or are connected to such people.
The development comes close on the heels of the NIA’s arrest of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asia Andrabi, along with two associates, on Friday in connection with a separate case.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat is named among the organisations allegedly fomenting trouble in the Valley and receiving funds from Pakistan in the NIA’s terror-funding case.