NIA Summons Cong Leader Over Kishtwar Militancy Cases


JAMMU - The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned senior Congress leader and former minister G M Saroori to appear before it on February 11 for questioning in connection with the militancy incidents in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Saroori, 67, is Jammu and Kashmir Congress vice president and three-time legislator from Inderwal constituency of Kishtwar.

The communally sensitive Kishtwar was rocked by a series of militancy related incidents since November 2018 after the hilly district was declared militancy-free over a decade ago.

The militants made their appearance felt in Kishtwar town when they shot dead senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar on November 1, 2018, while RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO were assassinated on April 9, 2019.

The militants also snatched the service rifle of the deputy commissioner's PSO Daleep Kumar on March 8 and the rifle of PSO of People's Democratic Party (PDP) district president Sheikh Nasir Hussain on September 13, last year.

The NIA is investigating the cases in the district.

The first major success against the militants operating in the district was registered on September 28 last year when government forces killed three ultras, including the mastermind behind the killings Osama Bin Javed, in an encounter in Batote area of Ramban district.

The major breakthrough came when the militants were fleeing an offensive by the government forces which saw over a dozen Hizbul Mujahideen militants and their overground workers arrested and several of their hideouts busted in Kishtwar district.

In September last year, Saroori's brother Mohammad Shafi was among a dozen persons booked in two separate FIRs for their alleged links with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit in the district.

However, Shafi refuted having any links with Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit and said the allegations against him are "politically motivated" to malign him and his family's image.

Shafi had also said that he was open to free and fair probe, and hopeful that truth would prevail once such an investigation was conducted.

NIA Takes Over Nagrota Gunfight Probe

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken up the investigation into the January 31 encounter in which three Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed on the outskirts of the city, officials said on Monday.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification on Monday directing the agency to carry out a thorough probe into the circumstances in which the three militants had sneaked into Jammu and Kashmir through International Border at Sambha.

Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested five people, including a cousin of the suicide bomber who killed 40 CRPF personnel in a deadly attack last year in Pulwama.

The militants were killed in a fierce gunbattle with police at a toll plaza on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on January 31, officials said. The militants were travelling in a truck towards the Kashmir Valley.

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