Geelani’s sons quizzed over terror funding

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The NIA on Tuesday questioned hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s sons, Naeem and Naseem, and took their wealth details as part of its probe into a money trail to expose how Pakistan sent cash to separatists for stoking unrest in the Kashmir Valley.

National Investigation Agency officials said the Geelani brothers arrived at the NIA Headquarters here around 9.30 a.m. after evading the counter-terror agency’s earlier summons.

“When they arrived at NIA headquarters, they were given slips to fill in their property details before their questioning began. They were also asked to bring documents of the properties that they own” an NIA official told IANS.

The official said the agency has found that most of the wealth that the senior Geelani has accumulated over the years is in the name of his two sons.

The property details the Geelanis gave will be corroborated with the NIA’s findings in its ongoing probe into terror funding from Pakistan and militant groups based there, the official said.

It is for the first time in the last three decades of Kashmir militancy that Geelani’s sons were questioned over the links with the separatist campaign in the state.

The NIA had issued summons to Naeem, a surgeon who was once based in Pakistan, on July 27 and August 1.

The doctor, who is seen as Geelani’s natural heir apparent, failed to appear because he was hospitalised in Srinagar.

Geelani’s younger son Naseem, who works at an agricultural university in Srinagar, was summoned to appear before the NIA on August 2.

He also did not come saying the notice should be served through the Vice Chancellor of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology so that he was permitted to take leave.

Naseem was earlier this year made life-long patron of Unique Educational Institute, spread over a sprawling nearly 4-acre plot donated by people of Geelani’s hometown of Sopore.

The institute is run by the Falah-e-Millat Educational Society that was formed by Geelani more than a decade ago.

Intelligence officials said the Geelani brothers were playing a key role in the Hurriyat’s decision making and running its financial affairs.

The NIA has arrested eight separatist leaders in connection with its probe into terror funding from Pakistan and militant groups based there.

The arrested separatists include Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah and Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Peer Saifullah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate.

They have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.

The NIA alleges that separatist leaders were receiving money from militant leaders in Pakistan including Hafiz Saeed, who heads the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

–IANS

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