NIA questions separatist leaders over funding from Pakistan

NIA spokesman said the separatist leaders after questioning were asked to produce some documents for examination by the officials.

Published: 20th May 2017 09:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2017 09:50 PM   |  A+A-

A Central Industrial Security Force guard stands outside the office of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi. (File | AFP)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday questioned three separatist leaders over funding from Pakistan, India’s most wanted and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and militant groups for carrying subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

A spokesman of NIA said the NIA team, which arrived in Srinagar yesterday to conduct investigations against separatist leaders, questioned Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate at Srinagar in the morning regarding the hawala and militancy funding issue.

Bitta Karate, a former JKLF militant, and two other separatist leaders Nayeem Khan, Bita Karatey and Gazi Javed Baba had in an expose by India Today TV purportedly acknowledged of receiving money from Pakistan government, Hafiz Saeed and militant groups for fomenting unrest in Valley and creating chaos by burning schools, government institutions, panchayat ghars and police stations.

One of them can be heard in the video boasting about burning schools, government institutions, panchayat ghars and police stations in Valley to spread chaos during the unrest last year.

The NIA spokesman said Nayeem Khan and Ghazi Javed Baba were questioned in the evening.

“Their questioning continued till late evening,” he said.

Asked whether the trio were questioned at their homes or at NIA office in Srinagar, NIA spokesman Alok Mitta told New Indian Express that they were questioned at three different places.

He said the separatist leaders after questioning were asked to produce some documents for examination by the NIA officials.

“The hotel in Srinagar in which the sting operation took place has been identified. The NIA team is completing formalities of identification of room, collection of records,” the spokesman said.

He said NIA is probing all angles of the funding of separatist leaders.

The spokesman said NIA has collected copies of FIRs of about 150 cases and analysing these FIRs registered in the valley regarding damage to schools and public property as part of the larger conspiracy to perpetuate violence and chaos in Kashmir.

At least 34 schools were set ablaze in Valley by unknown persons during the over six month long unrest last year following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

“The probe is going on,” NIA spokesman said.

Asked whether hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani will also be questioned, he said, “It will depend on the investigations”.

NIA had yesterday registered a preliminary inquiry into funding of Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bita Karatey, Gazi Javed Baba and others in Jammu and Kashmir by Hafiz Saeed and other Pakistan based militant groups and agencies to carry out subversive activities in Kashmir and damage public property, stone pelting on the security forces, burning of schools and other government establishments.

The NIA had also taken cognizance of TV expose related to the recording of conversations between TV reporters and leaders of separatist groups operating in Valley.

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