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Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq appear before NIA in connection with terror funding case

Mirwaiz decided to appear before the NIA after the agency issued a third summon to him recently

 Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq appear before NIA in connection with terror funding case
Image Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI

New Delhi: Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq appeared before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday in connection with a terror funding case. He left for Delhi from Srinagar this morning. 

Mirwaiz decided to appear before the NIA after the agency issued a third summon to him recently. He had earlier failed to appear before the NIA on March 11 and March 18 and had expressed security concerns regarding his visit to Delhi. He was provided security upon his arrival at Delhi airport.

Hurriyat Conference leaders Abdul Gani Bhat, Bilal Lone and Maulana Abbas Ansari are also accompanying Mirwaiz to the NIA headquarters to express their solidarity, members of the separatist conglomerate said, news agency PTI reports. 

A statement issued by the Hurriyat Conference in Srinagar said that a meeting of its executive members was held which strongly condemned the move of summoning the Mirwaiz. It claimed that its chairman was "being deliberately harassed and there was an effort to criminalise leadership for their political stand". 

It said the Hurriyat is a coalition of political parties striving for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue and to associate it with anything to do with terror is ridiculous and a deliberate victimisation for their political ideology. 

"It's unfortunate that while they have always maintained that Kashmir is a political issue that needs resolution peacefully and humanely and always worked towards that end... Yet rulers of the day are resorting to such tactics to harass and intimidate them under the garb of legality," it said. 

"It is unfortunate that they did take into account the other concerns and are insisting on investigation in Delhi. The meeting decided that they will all accompany the Mirwaiz to New Delhi for the investigation," read the statement.

Mirwaiz or any member of Hurriyat Conference has nothing to do with the "so-called funding case and it is sheer vindictiveness on the part of authorities", it added.

The NIA had on February 26 carried out searches at premises of several leaders, including Mirwaiz.

The probe agency had questioned two maternal uncles of Mirwaiz, Maulvi Manzoor and Maulvi Shafat, and his close aides last year. Both Manzoor and Shafat are retired senior government officers.

The case names Hafeez Saeed, Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), the front for banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused, besides organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the Mirwaiz, Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

(With PTI inputs)