SRINAGAR: Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to question him here instead of Delhi as he fears for his security in view of "conditions of hostility".
The NIA is investigating a case related to terror funding in Kashmir through hawala channels.
The agency last month carried out a series of raids on separatists, including the Mirwaiz, and summoned him for questioning in Delhi.
"Under the prevailing conditions of hostility wherein there is a threat to the personal safety of my client, it becomes unwise for my client to travel to Delhi," counsel for the Mirwaiz, Aijaz Ahmad Dhar, said in a letter to the NIA in response to the agency's March 6 notice.
If the NIA wants to question the Mirwaiz, it can do so in Srinagar and he is willing to cooperate as "he has nothing to hide", the counsel said in the letter dated March 10, a copy of which was released on Monday.
Dhar said his client is not acquainted with the subject matter of the FIR referred to in the NIA's notice.
He said the NIA's notice to the separatist leader appears to have been issued on the basis of "fallacious assumptions and misinformation solely aimed at maligning the Mirwaiz".
"Knowing his status and position, it appears to be an outcome of considerations other than the law," he added.
Dhar said the Mirwaiz is not only a political leader but also a religious head of a large section of people in the state.
On his client's stand on the Kashmir issue, Dhar said it has always been clear.
"He has always stated that the Kashmir issue is a political and human issue which needs political resolution either through the implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue amongst the three stakeholders -- India, Pakistan, and people of Jammu and Kashmir," the counsel of the Mirwaiz said.