The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday questioned separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s sons and a Jammu and Kashmir police officer in connection with a case of alleged terror funding against Hurriyat leaders. Sources said Geelani’s sons, Nayeem and Naseem, were questioned for nearly nine hours at NIA headquarters on Delhi’s Jai Singh Road. They were quizzed about their financial dealings and association with Hurriyat’s working and funding of its members, said sources.
NIA sources said that it had emerged during interrogation of other accused in the case that Geelani’s sons had an active role in the movement of funds. The NIA had arrested the accused — seven second-rung Hurriyat leaders — last month. “We have been told that on many occasions the money was handed over to them. We are questioning them about those transactions. The questioning will continue on Wednesday,” an NIA officer said. Nayeem is a surgeon while Naseem an assistant professor at Srinagar’s the Sher-e-Kashmir University.
The officer, Deputy Superintendent Faheem Ali, was questioned along with the two. Ali is known to be close to separatist Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and was part of his security detail for close to 10 years. He was transferred recently and posted in Shopian after police officer Ayub Pandit’s lynching in June. “Ali is suspected to be aware of a lot of financial dealings of the Hurriyat. He has been with Mirwaiz Umer Farooq for very long,” said the NIA officer.
The NIA had registered a case on May 30 accusing Hurriyat leaders of raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala channels, for funding separatist and terrorist activities. They have been accused of orchestrating stone throwing, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India. NIA had impounded electronic devices and valuables worth crores of rupees in searches at several places in Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi in connection with the case.