With the centre indicating that it will adopt a zero tolerance policy against all separatist leaders, Awami Action Committee chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq might face arrest if he does not appear for questioning before the National Investigation Agency in Delhi on Thursday in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case.
"Now there is no turning back. Mirwaiz would have to face consequences if he does not turn up for questioning," a senior NIA officer said on the condition of anonymity.
He said the NIA will approach a court and inform that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, despite summons, is not cooperating. This is the third summon issued to the separatist leader by the probe agency.
Meanwhile, sources close to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq say that in all likelihood he will evade summons again as he has taken a stance that he will not leave Srinagar. Through his lawyer, he has communicated to the NIA that he is ready to cooperate with the investigation agency, but he should be examined in Srinagar.
Earlier, many related to the terror funding case have been examined by the NIA at Humhama in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district.
"The NIA has to concede to his request or get a warrant issued against him," reasons a senior ministry official, adding that the agency has been given a signal to pursue legal course if he does not cooperate.
According to the official, the inputs available with the ministry indicate that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq does hold some influence in some pockets of Srinagar. "A clear signal has been given to both NIA and Enforcement Directorate to fast track this investigation," he added.
Last month, the NIA had carried out searches at seven locations in Srinagar in connection with the terror funding case. Premises belonging to top separatist leaders - Yasin Malik, Chairman JKLF, Shabbir Shah, President JKDFP, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman Awami Action Committee, Mohammad Ashraf Khan, Chairman Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Masarat Alam, General Secretary APHC, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Chairman JKSM and Naseem Geelani, son of Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani - had been raided.
During the searches, NIA teams recovered documents including property papers, financial transactions receipts and bank account details.
Electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication system and DVRs were also seized during the searches. Significantly, letter heads of different terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to recommendations for visa for admission in Pakistan educational institutions were found.
During raids, a high tech internet communication set up was also recovered from the residence of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has identified as many as 31 properties belonging to separatist leaders of Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the properties identified for attachment are spread across Srinagar, Jammu, Kupwara, and Budgam. The agency has already sized property worth Rs 7 crore.
The centre has been trying to choke funds reaching terror groups in the valley. Earlier, it cracked down the under-invoicing of goods passing through the border trading points between Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Jammu and Kashmir. And, at the same time, it has banned organisations like the Jamaat-e-Islamai (J&K) and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
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