Srinagar: Kashmir Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom on Thursday faced “hard questions” from “high-ranking” officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi, an advocate accompanying him in Delhi told Kashmir Reader.
Qayoom was summoned to Delhi by the NIA on Wednesday and was questioned for at least seven hours on the day.
The NIA has presented Qayoom as a witness in the RC-10/2017/NIA/DLI case of alleged funding from Pakistan to Kashmir.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, Advocate Arshid Andrabi said, “Mian Qayoom entered the (questioning) room at 11:17am where many high-ranking (NIA) officials were present.”
Andrabi, who is part of an 8-member Bar team accompanying Qayoom to Delhi, said, “Qayoom sahab was questioned for around 5 hours today. He was asked hard questions ranging from politics to his profession.”
Andrabi said that Qayoom told the NIA investigators, “I am a lawyer by profession who fights for the rights of his people.”
Andrabi said that Qayoom was asked by NIA officials to return to Delhi on September 14 for further questioning.
A Bar member said that Qayoom had volunteered to go to Delhi, even though he could have asked the NIA Investigation Officer (IO) to record his statement from his home district. “Section 160 CrPC provides that a person less than 15 years of age or more than 65 years of age, if asked to appear as witness, can seek exemption and ask the IO to get his statement recorded near his home police station,” the lawyer said.
“As the NIA has its Srinagar station available at Humhama, they could be asked to come there, but Mr Qayoom volunteered to go to Delhi to demonstrate there is nothing to hide and the media is bent upon maligning his image,” the Bar member asserted. “The list of properties mentioned by news channel India Today is false and no supporting material is available.”
The lawyer said that Qayoom is contemplating to file a defamation case against the news channel.
Meanwhile in the Valley, work in courts remained suspended due to the strike of lawyers. A general body of the Kashmir Bar will meet on Friday in Srinagar to decide its future course of action.