Srinagar: Returning triumphant from Delhi where he went to answer questioning by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) President, Mian Abdul Qayoom, on Saturday said that a “myth” was broken that the Kashmir struggle was “because of money”.
Mian Qayoom, 67, was questioned by the NIA officials for the fourth time this Friday as a witness in case RC-10/2017/NIA/DLI that the NIA has registered into alleged funding for “subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Addressing members of the Bar at the J&K lower court here soon after his return from New Delhi, Qayoom said, “The myth on which they (NIA) were building their case that this (Kashmir) movement is because of money… they could not find anything.”
“It is the biggest achievement,” he told the lawyers who were waiting since morning to meet their president.
Qayoom said that the NIA investigators asked him about his life, work, profession, property and income tax. “An NIA official (of the rank of) Deputy SP was showing something to them (other NIA officials) (and) then he (also) showed it to me… it were (reports) of strikes and demonstrations by lawyers. The reports belonged to Srinagar, Pampore and other places,” Mian Qayoom said of his NIA experience.
“I was told that lawyers are supporting me. The NIA said that the lawyers are united… concerned for each other,” Mian Qayoom said.
Expressing gratitude to the Bar members, he said, “I am here (after NIA questioning) because of you.”
“They (NIA) could have done anything, could have made anything… they wanted papers, property details, income tax returns (certificates), qualifications, bank accounts, (and) there was nothing in that,” the Bar president said. “Still, they could have done anything.”
Qayoom said that the NIA asked him about the Bar association’s stand on the Kashmir issue. “Lawyers who become members of Bar have to abide by the Bar constitution,” Qayoom said he told the NIA investigators. “The first article of the Bar is that Kashmir is a disputed territory, and lawyers have to work for its resolution.”
“It is our work, we are united by that constitution,” Qayoom added.
“It is because of our unity,” he said, “that I am back.”
The Bar president said, “I would like that we (Bar) will adopt a similar approach on Kashmir (in future).”
“People of Kashmir, lawyers, media were concerned (about me),” he said. “Even judges showed their concern. My colleagues accompanying me received messages even from judges about me.”
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, KBA secretary Advocate Bashir Sidiq – who accompanied Mian Qayoom to Delhi – said that the Bar team experiences “a hostile atmosphere” outside the NIA headquarters.
“Cops of Delhi Police would come and ask who we were and what we were doing there,” Sidiq said. “We even saw some Kashmiris there, people belonging to the LoC trade, who looked scared.”