NIA To Quiz Ex-MLA Er Rashid Over ‘Militant Links’

Engineer Rasheed – File Pic

SRINAGAR – The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will question former JK MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid for his alleged links with Hizbul Mujahideen commander Naveed ‘Babu’, arrested along with suspended Jammu and Kashmir Police DSP Davinder Singh, officials said here on Monday.

Rashid, popularly known as ‘Rashid Engineer’ and leader of the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP), contested as an Independent candidate in the 2014 Assembly constituency from Langate in North Kashmir.

He is at present in judicial custody at the Tihar Jail after he was arrested by the NIA on August 9 in connection with a funding case in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The officials said the agency would soon approach court for seeking a production warrant for summoning Rashid and question him about his association with Naveed alias ‘Babu’, whose full name is Syed Naveed Mushtaq Ahmad.

He is at present under the custody of the NIA till February 6.

Naveed was arrested along with suspended Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Davinder Singh on January 11. The police officer was allegedly ferrying Naveed along with two others out of the Kashmir Valley.

Along with Singh and Naveed, Rafi Ahmed Rather and Irfan Shafi Mir, who claims to be an advocate, were also arrested on the day from the Srinagar-Jammu Highway at Qazigund.

On January 23, Naveed’s brother, Syed Irfan Ahmed, was also arrested after he was brought from Punjab. He was in constant touch with his brother and had asked him to look for an accommodation in Chandigarh, where they could escape the harsh winter months of Kashmir.

Last year also, Singh had ferried Naveed to Jammu and facilitated his return to Shopian after “rest and recuperation”.

Rashid was first a mainstream politician who was arrested by the NIA last year in connection with a case related to the funding.

His name had cropped up during the interrogation of businessman Zahoor Watali arrested by the NIA for allegedly supplying money to militant groups and separatists in the valley.

The NIA had registered the case against Hurriyat Conference leaders,

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