Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday missed another summon by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA had first summoned Mirwaiz on March 11, asking him to appear before it in a terror-funding probe in which several separatist leaders have already been arrested. Mirwaiz, however, said he was willing to be examined by the NIA, but urged that the questioning be held in Srinagar due to life threats he is receiving.
The NIA has said that letterheads of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Hizbul Mujahideen and other organisations are among various "significant evidences" that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) says are enough to book top separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, news agency IANS reported.
Mirwaiz and more than six top separatist leaders “may soon face the heat” in the case the agency registered in May 2017, IANS quoted an NIA officer, privy to the investigation as saying. The officer, however, did not clarify whether a FIR will be registered against these separatist leaders or they will be arrested. He only confirmed that “something big would happen soon before June,” report added.
Mirwaiz’s counsel in his written response to the NIA said, “My client has serious concerns about his safety. The security (Z plus category) provided earlier to your knowledge, was withdrawn unilaterally, for reasons too well known.”
“Your attention is invited to some of the distressing comments which have appeared in the mainstream print media since the news of his summons to New Delhi. There are open calls for his assassination…. Having regard to the comments, merely stating in the notice that security will be provided appears to be perfunctory observation,” the response said.
Earlier, an NIA team, accompanied by police and CRPF personnel, searched residences of some of the separatist leaders, including the Mirwaiz, Naseem Geelani and Ashraf Sehrai, the chairman of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.
The houses of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yaseen Malik, Shabir Shah and Masarat Alam were also raided. Barring the Mirwaiz and Sehrai, all other leaders have been jailed.
The NIA had questioned two maternal uncles of the Mirwaiz - Maulvi Manzoor and Maulvi Shafat - and his close aides last year. Both Manzoor and Shafat are retired senior government officers.