Conflict

Geelani, Mirwaiz, Malik will be arrested, if needed: NIA

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New Delhi: In connection with the alleged ”terror’ funding case, National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to summon top Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, reported the Indian Express.

An NIA officer told the newspaper that the agency’s primary job is to utilize the 10-day remand of the arrested leaders and corroborate evidence against them.

“The stone-pelting business in Kashmir is multi-layered. Those arrested are the penultimate layer with leaders such as Geelani, Farooq and Malik being at the top. However, there are multiple layers of couriers and stone pelters below those arrested,’’ an NIA officer told The Indian Express.

He added, “All of these people have to be identified and questioned. If need be, some of them will also be arrested.’’

On Tuesday, an NIA court in Delhi granted the custody of ‘second-rung separatists’ Altaf Ahmad Shah, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah, Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar. They are accused of fomenting trouble using funds allegedly received from Pakistan-based terror groups.

The officer added that the NIA has evidence against all seven of them and they will be questioned on the basis of ‘documents recovered from their premises’ during raids.

“We have evidence against each one of them. But the financial chain has to be completed and ultimate beneficiary and foot soldiers have to be identified and nailed. We will question them regarding documents recovered from premises connected to them and of associated hawala operators.

The officer added, “Their financial transactions will be cross-verified and they would be confronted with evidence of WhatsApp groups that they maintained to organise stone pelting.’’

The agency believes that the arrest of seven Hurriyat leaders will serve a major blow to those whole organize stone pelting.

On Tuesday, National Conference patron and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah while congratulating the NIA for the probe asked them to probed the ‘Indian funding’ to Hurriyat too.

On the other hand, Hurriyat has touted the NIA probe as ‘war weapon’ against the Kashmir cause.

 

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