NIA quizzes pro-freedom leaders over TV sting claims

NIA quizzes pro-freedom leaders over TV sting claims
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SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today quizzed three Kashmiri pro-freedom leaders in connection with its probe into the role of Lashker-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in “subversive activities” in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NIA team, headed by the Additional Director General, had asked Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’ and Gazi Javed Baba to appear before it for their explanation on an “expose” on a television channel where they had claimed receiving funds from Pakistan.
The three were questioned separately by the team of NIA, which named them in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) yesterday.
The NIA team will be gathering evidence collected by the Jammu and Kashmir Police about the burning of schools as the television sting showed Khan claiming that the educational institutions were targeted as per the plans hatched from across the border.
The schools were targeted last year after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8.
Besides these three, NIA has named Saeed and Geelani in the PE, which precedes the filing of a case.
Nayeem Khan, who was suspended by Geelani from Hurriyat today, was seen on television during the sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based groups.
Geelani suspended Khan’s National Front from the basic membership of the Hurriyat Conference until the clarification of all the related issues comes to fore and the truth comes out, a spokesman for Geelani said.
Khan had held a press conference here in which he claimed that the video was “doctored” and challenged the channel to run his full video instead.
“The video is doctored, simulated and a collage of bits and pieces. It does not have a shred of credibility. The agenda of Indian media is to defame the Kashmir struggle and pro-freedom leadership,” he said.
The NIA’s PE alleged that the pro-freedom leaders were receiving funds from the LeT chief to carry out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including pelting government forces with stones, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.
The NIA took cognisance of the news item related to a recording of conversations between a TV reporter Khan.

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