Srinagar: The NIA on Thursday issued fresh summons to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to appear for questioning at the probe agency headquarters in connection with a financing case, PTI reported.
According to the notice, the Mirwaiz has been asked to appear at the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters in New Delhi on March 18, it quoted the agency officials as having said.
The NIA had on February 26 carried out searches at premises of several resistance leaders including the Mirwaiz.
The NIA team, accompanied by police and CRPF personnel, searched residences of the Mirwaiz, Naseem Geelani, Ashraf Sehrai, JKLF chief Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah, Zaffar Bhat and Masarat Alam.
The NIA had questioned two maternal uncles of the Mirwaiz — Maulvi Manzoor and Maulvi Shafat — and his close aides last year. Both Manzoor and Shafat are retired senior government officers.
He had been asked to appear before the NIA on March 11 but the Mirwaiz had expressed his inability to join the investigation in the national capital fearing for his security in view of “conditions of hostility”.
“Under the prevailing conditions of hostility wherein there is a threat to the personal safety of my client, it becomes unwise for my client to travel to Delhi,” counsel for the Mirwaiz, Aijaz Ahmad Dhar, had said in a letter to the NIA.
If the NIA wants to question the Mirwaiz, it can do so in Srinagar and he is willing to cooperate as “he has nothing to hide”, the letter had said.
The lawyer had said his client was not acquainted with the subject matter of the FIR referred to in the NIA’s notice and added that the notice to the separatist leader appears to have been issued on the basis of “fallacious assumptions and misinformation solely aimed at maligning the Mirwaiz”.
On his client’s stand on the Kashmir issue, the lawyer said it has always been clear.
“He has always stated that the Kashmir issue is a political and human issue which needs political resolution either through implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue amongst the three stakeholders — India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the counsel of the Mirwaiz said.
The NIA summons to the Mirwaiz evoked strong response from almost all sections of the Valley who termed it unacceptable.
The Muttahida Ulema Council – a conglomerate of the religious organisation of Kashmir – had issued a shutdown call for Saturday against the NIA summons to the Mirwaiz but withdrew it at the request of the Mirwaiz.
The trade bodies across Kashmir also denounced the summons to the Mirwaiz and warned this will deteriorate the situation.