Separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq appeared before the National Investigation Agency today for questioning in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case. The centre had indicated that it will adopt a zero tolerance policy for all separatists amid a major crackdown on separatists since the Pulwama terror attack. He reached Delhi this morning.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is likely to be questioned about a letter seized during the raids in February, which stated that Rs. 5,000 was paid to a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative. An aide of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shahid Ul Islam, was arrested by the probe agency in 2017. He had had allegedly given the money to the LeT operative on Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's orders.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) agency had summoned him for questioning twice in the past but he had not complied with the orders. The government, in February, scrapped security for separatists, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in Jammu and Kashmir.
Through his lawyer, he had communicated to the NIA that he is ready to cooperate with the investigation agency, but he should be examined in Srinagar.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had earlier expressed apprehensions over his security outside the Kashmir Valley.
In the past, many related to the terror funding case were questioned by the NIA at Humhama in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district.
In February, the NIA had carried out searches at seven locations in Srinagar in connection with the terror funding case. Premises belonging to top separatists - JKLK chairman Yasin Malik, Shabbir Shah, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Ashraf Khan, Masarat Alam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat and Naseem Geelani, son of Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani - had been raided.
During the searches, documents including property papers, financial transactions receipts and bank account details were found.
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.
A high-tech internet communication set up too recovered from the home of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
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. At the same time, it has banned organisations like the Jamaat-e-Islamai (J&K) and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).