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Suspicious bank accounts probe: NIA grills Geelani’s aides, to question his son later

The NIA has already grilled senior separatist leaders and Geelani’s aides Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Peer Saifullah. Sehrai was questioned at Shivpora and Saifullah at Humhama
Syed Ali Shah Geelani

National Investigation Team which was in Kashmir for a week to probe the suspicious bank accounts has left for New Delhi without interrogating Dr Naeem Geelani , the son of the top Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The agency had issued a notice to him to report to their office at Shivpora for questioning.

However, the NIA has already grilled senior separatist leaders and Geelani’s aides Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Peer Saifullah. Sehrai was questioned at Shivpora and Saifullah at Humhama.

When Dr Nayeem reached NIA’s Shivpora on Tuesday, the team had left. He was told that he will be questioned in the second round of the NIA visit to valley to probe the suspicious account holders, sources in police said.

This was later confirmed by a statement from the Geelani’s faction of Hurriyat Conference. “In response to the notice served by NIA Yesterday afternoon Dr Naeem Geelani, son of Hurriyat Chairman Syed Ali Geelani attended the office of this investigating agency at Shivpora today at 12:00 noon along with his legal advisor, but the concerned people had already left for Delhi,” the statement read adding that the incharge at the office called the authorities on phone to convey them that Dr Naeem has attended the office.

NIA, sources in police said, has zeroed in on a dozen of the bank accounts which have witnessed sudden deposits of the large amounts of money followed by quick withdrawal during the ongoing unrest. The agency is trying to find out the source of these funds and whether these have been used to stoke the current unrest. The NIA, sources said, has 90 days to complete the investigation and file cases against the account holders once their links with the protesters had been established.

However, in Kashmir, the probe is largely seen as political in nature, a part of centre’s efforts to build pressure on the separatist leaders to fall in line and withdraw their call for continuous protests, or at least bring them around to dialogue.

An all-party delegation led by the home minister Rajnath Singh is visiting Kashmir on Sunday “to meet all those who are interested in restoring peace in the Valley”. The members of the delegation are likely to call on the separatist leaders at their houses and urge them to enter into a dialogue with the centre.

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