Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday summoned to New Delhi Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Engineer Rasheed in a case of alleged funding from Pakistan for “subversive activities” in J&K.
Two-time MLA Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, popularly known as Engineer Rasheed, was handed the NIA summon by a cop from the Rajbagh police station at his official Jawahar Nagar residence. The summons asked Rasheed to present himself for questioning at the NIA headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday, October 3.
“I am a law-abiding citizen,” Rasheed, who represents Langate in the Legislative Assembly, told Kashmir Reader. “Let me see what they (NIA investigators) say.”
Rasheed is the first mainstream politician in Kashmir to be summoned by the NIA. Rasheed heads the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP).
Rasheed has been asked to present himself for questioning as a “witness”.
Soon after he was handed the NIA summons, Rasheed in a statement responded: “My people are the best judge.”
“My life is like an open book and any harassment will not stop me from telling the truth,” Rasheed said.
“Peace in J&K cannot be maintained by harassing and humiliating genuine Kashmiri leadership,” he said.
“NIA summoning me is politically motivated (but) I will continue to call a spade a spade, whatsoever it may cost,” he said.
In an open letter to the Speaker of J&K Legislative Assembly, on September 15, Rasheed had denied allegations made against him for allegedly receiving funds from Pakistan.
He had also volunteered for scrutiny by any state agency, so that “his self-respect and that of his people whom he represents is restored”.
“I will humbly like to submit without any iota of doubt in my mind that I have done nothing wrong except trying to represent the sentiments and aspirations of people of my constituency and my state, the way they deserve to be represented,” he said in the letter. “People have a right to reject my views and differ with them but if someone simply tries to shut my mouth by indulging in false propaganda and levelling criminal allegations, it is not only an insult to the institution of Assembly but amounts to disgracing the self-respect and mandate of people whom I represent.”
Rasheed lives in Laach village of Langate in Kupwara district along the Line of Control (LoC). He worked as a civil engineer in J&K Projects Construction Corporation Limited (JKPCC) before he turned to electoral politics.
In 2008, Rasheed, who is famous for his pro-people political positions and activities, won from Langate seat for the first time.
His family includes his parents, wife, children, brother, all of whom live in his ancestral village.
NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal didn’t respond to repeated calls from Kashmir Reader.