The National Investigative Agency which is probing the alleged funding provided to carry out terror activities in Jammu & Kashmir, has now decided to bring in mainstream politicians for questioning.
As per reports, the NIA on Tuesday thoroughly questioned Sheikh Abdul Rashid commonly known as Engineer Rashid, who is an independent MLA from the Langate constituency in Handwara. The summons were sent to him by the agency on 28th September.
Before contesting elections, Rashid had worked in the J-K government’s Project Construction Corporation for around 15 years as an Engineer.
The questioning carried out under the terror funding probe reportedly focused on possible links between the MLA and businessman Zahoor Watali. Watali was arrested by the agency in August after the NIA in its raid at his home uncovered, highly incriminating material pertaining to receipt of funds from foreign sources and its further distribution to the terrorists and separatists in Kashmir valley for anti-India activities.
Before going into the NIA office for being questioned, Engineer Rashid claimed that he had nothing to hide and termed the NIA summons as a conspiracy hatched by his political opponents. He further claimed that after a trial started against him in the media, he approached the J&K assembly speaker to initiate a probe and uncover the truth.
Such a development is significant because till now the NIA had focused on separatists and business persons while carrying out its probe. We had reported in the past how people from all walks of life, like PhD students, trade body chiefs, retired Judges and journalists have been under the scanner during the probe.
Apart from these civilians, the NIA has also thoroughly scrutinised the usual suspects like the stone pelters and Hurryat. It was reported that the agency had summoned the sons of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and had also arrested 7 Hurryat leaders including the dreaded Bitta Karate.
It remains to be seen if after the questioning of Engineer Rashid, the NIA follows it up with further summons to more mainstream politicians.