NIA Summons Kashmir Bar President to Delhi

Srinagar—National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom, president Kashmir High Court Bar Association, to its headquarters at New Delhi on Wednesday to “answer certain questions” relating to a case registered on the instructions of government of India on “credible inputs” suggesting funding for “separatist and terrorist” activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Reacting sharply to the issuance of summon to Qayoom, members of the Kashmir’s lawyers body stayed away from courts in the afternoon and announced to continue boycott of court work on Tuesday against the “NIA onslaught.”

In show of solidarity, all the district and ‘mufassil bar associations’ of the Valley have also decided to abstain from court work on September 5, a spokesman of the lawyer’s body said.

In the summon, a copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer, the NIA states that Qayoom was required to appear before it as he’s “acquainted” with the circumstances of the case—RC 10/2017/ NIA/DLI under IPC sections of 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war), 121A (conspiracy of waging war) and 13, 16, 17,18,20, 38, and 40 of UA(P) Act, registered at NIA Police Station, New Delhi.

As per the case’s summary of allegation, it was registered after Government of India received “credible information” that “Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Amir of Jammat-ud-Dawah and the secessionist and separatist leaders including the members, cadres of the Hurriyat Conference have been acting in connivance with active militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Dukhtaran-e- Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other organisations for raising, receiving and collecting funds domestically and abroad through various illegal channels, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Through the funds so collected, they as such have entered into a larger criminal conspiracy for causing disruption in the Kashmir valley by way of pelting stones on the forces, systematically burning of schools, damage to public property and waging war against India,” it reads.

Meanwhile, KHCBA took a very serious notice what it called “dastardly persecution of innocent Kashmiris, who continue to be the victim of NIA onslaught”.

“The issuance of notice to the Bar President is highly deplorable and condemnable, as it is aimed at to harass and demonize the lawyer’s fraternity, on account of the fact that they support the cause of people of Kashmir and defends the (detainees) and under-trial prisoners, before the High Court and the courts subordinate to it.”

The lawyers body also likened the summon for filling of petition before Supreme Court by it regarding use of pellets in Kashmir and also getting arrayed a party to the plea filed by an NGO before the apex court for striking down Article 35-A of the Constitution of India.

“The NIA has issued a notice to the Bar President, so that the cases, which are now pending before the Supreme Court are not prosecuted and defended by the Bar Association, which act of NIA amounts to the interference with the course of justice,” the spokesman said.

The lawyers’ body has summoned general body meeting on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at High Courtto discuss the NIA notice and “chalk out” future course of action. “In that view of the matter, the work in the High court and subordinate courts shall remain suspended for the day, tomorrow, (Tuesday),” the spokesman added.

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