Srinagar: Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta said on Friday that Langate MLA Er Rasheed has been summoned only for “questioning” by the NIA (National Investigation Agency), but opposition legislators said that the summons was a “serious issue” and was aimed at “humiliating” Rasheed.
Er Rasheed, who has been elected twice from the Langate assembly seat, is the first legislator in the history of J&K to be summoned by a New Delhi investigation agency. The NIA has summoned Rasheed to appear as a “witness” on October 3 at New Delhi in the “terror funding case” that the NIA registered on May 30 this year.
“It is a serious issue and I have conveyed it to Speaker Kavinder Gupta Ji,” said CPI-M lawmaker MY Tarigami.
Tarigami, who has for many years represented Kulgam in the state legislature, told Kashmir Reader, “The Speaker told me that the issue will be taken up with authorities.”
National Conference (NC) general secretary and MLA Khanyar, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said that the “law will take its own course” but “the (NIA) questioning is aimed at humiliating lawmaker Er Rasheed, which is unfortunate.”
“NC has said it before that the (NIA) investigation is just to create sensation, threatening people… it is unfortunate and everybody will condemn it,” Sagar, a five-time legislator from Khanyar, said. “If the MLA has done something wrong, there should be some proof,” he added.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader from Jammu, Kavinder Gupta said, “NIA has sent us a letter that they want to question MLA Rasheed and they have issued summons to him. NIA has told us that it is just questioning, they need information.”
“Several people called me and asked about NIA summons to the Langate MLA. I have told them that it is just questioning,” he added.
Independent legislator from Khan Sahib assembly seat, Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, said, “I will come to Srinagar on Saturday and speak to Speaker on the issue. But I will first talk about it with people. We are living in a democratic country and we will raise the issue at the proper time.”
Former parliamentarian and senior Congressman Tariq Hameed Karra told Kashmir Reader, “NIA has no substantial evidence in the case.” The call dropped instantly and there could be no further contact with Karra.
BJP’s Kashmir face and Member of Legislative Council, Sofi Yousuf, said that Er Rasheed “needs to change his behaviour”.
“MLA Langate has taken oath to safeguard sovereignty of India but he is acting against it. He should stop protests that are against the country,” said Yousuf, who claimed that he came to know about the NIA summons through WhatsApp and at a time when he was out of the state.
“In 2015,” Yousuf said, “I had to file an FIR against Er Rasheed in Pulwama for disrespecting the tricolour. Er Rasheed nakhray karna chhod de, (Er Rasheed should stop his antics),” he said.