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Delhi-based cardiologist summoned by NIA as witness in 2017 terror funding case

A view of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters in New Delhi. File

A view of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) headquarters in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

The summons come days after Dr. Kaul appeared on NDTV on a discussion on amendment to Article 370.

Senior cardiologist Upendra Kaul was summoned on Friday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as a witness in the 2017 terror funding case, a senior official told The Hindu.

Dr. Kaul, chairman of Batra Hospital in south Delhi, was asked to appear at 10.30 a.m. He told The Hindu that he was questioned for over half-an-hour and asked about his SMS exchange with one of his patients, Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik, now lodged in the Tihar Jail.

Dr. Kaul said, “I was asked about a message which said INR 2.78. I explained that INR stood for a medical term and not Indian National Rupees 2.78 million etc. I explained that Yasin Malik is just another patient of mine... Here I would like to add that it is not like Malik is my childhood friend. In fact, in 1996, it was the Government of India which brought him in for treatment for his heart ailment and like any other patient he, too, needs follow-up, which I have been doing here or sometimes in Kashmir...”

He was summoned by the NIA under Section 160 CrPC (Police officer’s power to require attendance of witnesses) read with 43F of UAPA (Obligation to furnish information).

The government official said, “He was called to appear as a witness in the 2017 terror funding case.” 

The summons come days after Dr. Kaul appeared on NDTV on a discussion on amendment to Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu aand Kashmir.

Speaking on the show recorded on August 8, he said, “Is it revenge now? What was done in 1990 [exodus of Kashmiri Pandits] ...are we taking revenge on Kashmiri Muslims now? That I cannot understand, Article 370 and politics of 370, it has has been hollowed ...as Nehru said it will die on its own. ...people in rest of the country do not even know what 370 means...”

Asked if the NIA called him in because of his participation in the TV discussion, he said: “I can't really say anything. I guess they are just trying to connect something somewhere somehow.”

Malik’s ideology

Dr. Kaul said he was asked if he was familiar with Malik's ideology. “I told them that he was a patient for me and there has been absolutely no reason for me to enquire about his personal beliefs and ideology.”

Malik was was arrested on February 22 from his Maisuma residence in Srinagar, a week after the Pulwama terror attack and was booked under the Public Safety Act. He was arrested by the NIA on April 10 and has been in Tihar jail since. 

The NIA registered the terror funding case on May 30, 2017 against “separatist and secessionist leaders, including members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have been acting in connivance with active militants of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, LeT, other outfits and gangs.”

The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in J&K and for causing disruption in the Valley by way of pelting stones at security forces, burning schools, damaging public property and waging war against India. 

The NIA has filed charge sheet against several suspects in the case.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 1:44:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-based-cardiologist-summoned-by-nia-as-witness-in-2017-terror-funding-case/article29300615.ece

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