PDP slams NIA summons to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

The NIA has asked the Mirwaiz and Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s younger son Naseem to appear before it on March 11 in Delhi in an “illegal funding case” lodged in 2017 against several separatists leaders in the Valley.

March 10, 2019 09:12 pm | Updated 09:15 pm IST - Srinagar

 Photo: Twitter/@jkpdp

Photo: Twitter/@jkpdp

A shutdown was observed in parts of Srinagar on Sunday against the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) move to summon Hurriyat chairman and head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to Delhi for inquiry.

Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said it was “an attack on J&K’s religious identity”. The shutdown call was issued by a number of traders’ bodies in old parts of Srinagar. The strike call impacted the daily life in Srinagar. Most markets, offices and petrol pumps remained closed for the day. The authorities also erected concertina wires in many areas of Srinagar “to keep protests at bay”. Traffic was thin on the roads.

The NIA has asked the Mirwaiz and Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s younger son to appear before it on Monday in Delhi in an “illegal funding case” lodged in 2017 against several separatists leaders in the Valley. The separatist amalgam, the Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, the Mirwaiz and JKLF chief Yasin Malik, called it “sheer political vendetta”.

“NIA raids (separatist) leaders and their relatives, followed by summoning is a fresh attempt to push them into submission, so that they stop pursing the resolution of the Kashmir issue,” said the JRL spokesman in a statement.

Meanwhile, PDP president Ms. Mufti denounced the NIA move. “Mirwaiz Farooq isn’t any ordinary separatist leader. He is religious and spiritual head to Kashmiri Muslims. NIA summons to him are emblematic of the Centre’s repeated assaults on our religious identity. J&K is the proverbial sacrificial lamb exploited to divert attention from real issues,” said Ms. Mufti.

PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said the Mirwaiz represents a centuries old religious institution. “The Mirwaiz’s family has been a victim of unresolved Kashmir issue, as he lost his father. The government has decided to wage a war on outstanding individuals only showcases the tragedy of Kashmir,” said Akhtar.

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