NIA summons Kashmir HC Bar Association president in terror funding case; lawyers suspend work
The National Investigation Agency has summoned Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom in connection with a case related to the funding of separatist activities in Kashmir Valley, officials said on Monday.
Srinagar/New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency has summoned Kashmir High Court Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom in connection with a case related to the funding of separatist activities in Kashmir Valley, officials said on Monday.
As news about the summons spread, lawyers across the Valley suspended work and decided to stay away from the courts on Tuesday as well.
The Bar Association said in a statement that the NIA notice was "dastardly persecution" of innocent people, who continue to be victims of the "NIA onslaught".
Qayoom, considered close to pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who heads the anti-national conglomerate Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, has been asked to appear before the agency on Wednesday, officials said.
His name had cropped up during the interrogation of some of those arrested by the probe agency.
Qayoom is likely to face questions about properties that have allegedly been procured by him, NIA officials said.
On 24 July, the NIA arrested seven persons in the case of alleged funding of terror and subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley to fuel unrest.
On 30 May, NIA registered the case and named Hafiz Saeed, leader of the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, as an accused.
It also accused separatist and secessionist leaders of being in cahoots with terrorist groups.
The case was registered on issues of raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including through hawala channels, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in the state.
It also included causing disruption in the Valley by pelting security forces with stones, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India.
It was the first time since the rise of militancy in the early 1990s that a central probe agency conducted raids in connection with the funding of terrorist and separatist groups.
The Bar Association said in its statement that lawyers across the Valley had immediately suspended work and boycotted the courts.
A general body meeting would be held in the High Court on Tuesday to discuss the NIA summons and the chalk out future course of action, it added.
Lawyers would not attend work in the High Court or other subordinate courts on Tuesday, the association said.
District and mofussil bar associations would not work on Tuesday either in solidarity with the bar president.
It also linked the summons with an ongoing petition in the Supreme Court challenging Article 35-A, which gives special rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
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Navlakha had sought default bail under Section 167 of the CrPc, claiming he had been in custody for over 90 days.
The SC also expunged adverse remarks of the HC against the NIA made in its 27 May order while dealing with the bail plea of accused Gautam Navlakha.
The Centre on Thursday allowed the NIA to investigate the case in view of its "serious implications for national security"