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NIA books Hurriyat netas for LeT fund

| | New Delhi / Srinagar

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team on Friday reached Srinagar to question Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for alleged money laundering and receiving funds from Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to create chaos in the Valley. The NIA named the two separatist leaders in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE), which precedes the filing of a regular case. It also named Naeem Khan, seen in a sting operation carried out by a TV channel purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups.

The others named in the PE are Farooq Ahmed Dar, alias ‘Bitta Karate’, and Gazi Javed Baba of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. The NIA team will be reviewing evidence collected in connection with the burning of schools last year after the terror group Hizbul Mujahideen’s poster boy Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

In its PE, the NIA alleged that the separatists were receiving funds from the LeT chief to carry out subversive activities in Kashmir Valley, including pelting security forces with stones, damaging public property and burning schools and other Government establishments. The anti-terror probe agency has also taken cognizance of a news item related to a recording of conversations between a TV reporter and leaders of separatist groups operating in the Kashmir Valley in this regard, said the NIA spokesperson.

Meanwhile, in the morning, separatist leader Yasin Malik assaulted an India Today TV journalist Kamaljit Sandhu and cameraman Vinod Kumar. The journalist alleged Malik pushed the channel’s cameraman down a flight of stairs. She said he also smashed their mobile phones. However, Malik registered a police complaint against the news team for allegedly barging into his bedroom in his house in Maisuma to ask questions.

Malik, who denied that he had assaulted Sandhu, said the reporter did not seek permission to enter his bedroom. The chairman of the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) said he had taken away her mobile phone because he thought she was using it as a recorder.

“She lied to my sister that she had an appointment with me. The fact is, she never called for an appointment,” he told reporters at a Press conference here.

“Is this journalism? The Indian media has raped journalistic ethics,” Malik said.

The police have registered a case against the journalist and the cameraman under Section 448 of the Ranbir Penal Code (illegal trespassing), which carries a punishment of up to one year in prison and a fine of Rs 1,000.

The journalist later said she and the cameraman had made a “legal and ethical entry” into his house.

“Malik could have asked us to leave the location. Instead, he smashed our mobile phones. He assaulted the cameraperson, and pushed him from the stairs.” She said he had accused them of trying to do a “sting operation” on him. “We asked questions. If you don’t want to answer, at least say you don’t want to speak,” the journalist said.

Malik was also asked at the conference about the NIA registering a case on the funding of separatist leaders. “I am not concerned with what NIA has to do,” he said.



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