NIA sends Hurriyat leaders home for a ‘break’; ED registers case

Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik posing for a joint photo after holding a meet. (FPK file Photo)

Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has given a “break” in interrogation to a few senior All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leaders, however, another leader has been put on notice in the alleged Hawala money case.

Early this month, the NIA had raided houses of several APHC leaders from Syed Ali Geelani group in Srinagar. Many Kashmiri traders based in Srinagar, Jammu, Delhi and NCR were also questioned and their residences searched.

On 8th June, Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantosh, who is the son-in-law of Hurriyat patriarch Geelani, was summoned by NIA to its Delhi headquarters for questioning.

He is heading public relations bureau of Hurriyat Conference (G).

APHC is an amalgam of various pro-freedom organisations formed in 1992. It faced division in 2002 when Geelani accused a few of its members of covertly helping pro-India political groups in Kashmir.

“Since 9th June, a team of NIA has been continuously interrogating me in Delhi,” Altaf Fantosh told the FreePressKashmir.

The joint resistance leadership, including Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, termed the NIA raids an “attempt to defame the freedom movement of Kashmiris”.

The resistance leadership said that it was “in discussion with cross-section of people to discuss the future strategy against this move of government of India”.

Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantosh.

Fantosh returned home on Friday late evening after his request of “break” was acceded to by the NIA, he informed.

“The interrogation would start around 9 up to late in the evening,” he said. The NIA team comprised of officers from sub-inspector to SP ranks.

“I have been registered as a witness (in the case) under section 160 (of NIA laws),” he informed.

The NIA has registered a case against Pakistan based Hafiz Saeed, promoter of Jama’at-ud-Dawah (JuD) – claimed to be a charity organisation and Srinagar based APHC for alleged transfer of money from Pakistan to Kashmir “to run the secessionist movement”.

On Friday, the enforcement Directorate (ED), a government of India subsidiary, has also registered a case against Saeed and All parties Hurriyat Conference and “others” in alleged “money laundering”.

Saeed is currently undergoing house detention in Lahore, Pakistan.

The NIA sleuths have also quizzed many traders who are associated with cross Line of Control (LoC) trade as well. The LoC trade was started in 2008 a confidence building measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan.

“I sought a break to return home on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr,” Fantosh said, “It was after daylong interrogation on Friday that I was let go and asked to return by the morning of 29th of this month.”

Muslims across Kashmir and sub-continent will most probably celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr  on Monday, June 26 as it will mark end of thirty days long month of fasting – Ramzan.

Muhammad Yasin Malik arrested on June 24, 2017. He was shifted to central jail Srinagar on judicial remand.

Another Hurriyat Conference (G) leader has been put on notice by the NIA and has been asked to present himself before the NIA team on 29th June.

Raja Mehraj-ud-Din Kalwal is chief of Gander and Srinagar districts of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH).

TeH, a pro-Islam and pro-Azaadi group headed by Geelani himself, is a part of larger APHC. Geelani is lifelong chairperson of APHC while as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq heads his faction of APHC.

Sources in the APHC confirmed that Kalwal has received the notice from NIA and is scheduled to reach Delhi on 28 of this month.

Media advisor of Hurriyat Conference (M), Shahid-ul-Islam, was also called to Delhi by the NIA for investigation. Earlier, his house was raided where from his laptop, cell phones, documents related to housing and car loans were confiscated.

Shahid ul Islam

Islam has returned home but has been asked to return after Eid-ul-Fitr.

“I faced huge health issues during these days under going NIA interrogation,” Fantosh said, “my blood sugar level kept fluctuating and at one point of time it touched 550 besides I am suffering from stress.”

In Srinagar, Syed Ali Geelani, the 88-year-old APHC chief, is undergoing house detention since the 2010 uprising. He has only been allowed to move out for health related issues.

efforts to reach NIA spokesperson did not materialize. Alok Mittal, who is an IGP rank officer, is the NIA PRO.

Speaking to the FreePressKashmir, APHC spokesperson, Ayaz Akbar said, “The government has detained Geelani sahib for long now. Besides, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Muhammad Ashraf Laya and myself have been detained in our homes for many a days now.”

He added, “over two hundred members of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat are still in jails since 2016 public uprising.”

An office bearer of Hurriyat Conference (M) said that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has been detained in his Nigeen residence while as one of its members, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, was detained in his Anantnag house.

On Saturday morning, the police detained JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik from his residence here in Maisuma.

The JKLF chief had been taken in preventive custody ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Raja Mehraj Din Kalwal

Malik had been shifted to central jail, Srinagar, a police official said.

On Friday, Malik had managed to reach Chrar-i-Sharif, where he addressed a huge gathering of people stressing upon unity in rank and file of resistance groups.

Chrar is a place situated on high grounds in Budgam district. It houses a famous shrine of Sheikh-ul-Alam Sheikh Noor-ud-Wali (RA). It was burnt down by the Indian armed forces in 1990s.

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