NIA Grills Geelani’s Sons Again


New Delhi—The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday questioned Naeem and Naseem Geelani, sons of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in connection with its ongoing probe into alleged terror funding.

An NIA official, requesting anonymity said that the brothers appeared at the NIA headquarters in central Delhi past 10 a.m.

Beside Geelani’s sons, Ghulam Nabi Bhatt, a separatist leader, was also being questioned by the counter-terror agency.

On Saturday, the NIA had summoned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Noor Muhammad Kalwal to appear before it on Monday.

Kalwal, a close aide of JKLF chief Yasin Malik, was one of the five militants released after the abduction of then Home Minister Mufti Sayeed’s daughter in 1989.

On Thursday and Friday also, the NIA had questioned Geelani’s sons for over seven hours.

This is the second time in a fortnight that the probe agency is grilling Geelani’s sons. The agency had asked them to bring certain documents related to financial transactions that have come under its scanner.

Naeem, a doctor by profession, is seen as Geelani’s natural heir while Naseem, the younger son, works at an agricultural university in Srinagar.

On Saturday, the NIA also carried out searches at the office of the company owned by Zahoor Watali, who was arrested on August 17 in Srinagar.

During the searches, the NIA recovered several incriminating documents pertaining to Watali’s financial transactions.

Watali was arrested from Srinagar, a day after the NIA searched multiple locations in the Kashmir Valley, including the businessman’s office and houses of his close relatives.

On July 24, the agency arrested seven separatist leaders in connection with its probe into terror funding from Pakistan and militant groups based there.

The arrested separatists include Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah and Shabir Shah, Nayeem Khan, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Peer Saifullah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate.

They have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against India.

The NIA alleges that separatist leaders were receiving money from militant leaders in Pakistan including Hafiz Saeed, who heads the Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa and banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Court extends NIA custody of Watali

A Delhi court on Monday extended by five more days, the NIA custody of Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested for allegedly collecting money from Pakistan for Hurriyat leaders.

District Judge Poonam A Bamba, in an in-chamber proceeding, passed the order after the agency sought ten days custody of Watali for further interrogation, court sources said.

The matter came before the court after the 10-day NIA custody granted to him earlier ended today. The agency had earlier told the court that it had found various suspicious documents from the accused during the searches, including details of bank accounts and cash received by him from various terror outfits.

Watali was arrested from here on August 17 by the agency for alleged involvement in the case. The agency had carried out raids in his premises and that of other suspects. The NIA had said in a statement on June 3 that it had searched Watali’s house in Srinagar and seized incriminating documents pertaining to financial transactions and land deals.


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