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Kashmir Lawmaker Engineer Rashid To Be Questioned In Terror Funding Case

Srinagar:  An independent lawmaker from Jammu and Kashmir has been summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with a case related to the funding of terror activities in the Valley. Sheikh Abdul Rashid, popularly known as Engineer Rashid, has been called for questioning on October 3, making him the first mainstream politician to be summoned in the case, officials said.

His name emerged during the interrogation of businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested by the agency for allegedly providing money to terror groups and separatists in Kashmir. Rashid has denied his involvement in the case.

The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against separatists, including unknown members of the Hurriyat Conference, who have been acting in connivance with terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other outfits, officials said.

The case was registered for raising, receiving and collecting funds through various illegal means, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, the probe agency said in the FIR.

Lashkare-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed as well as organisations including the two factions of the Hurriyat (one led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the other by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq), Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat, an all-women outfit of separatists have been named among accused in the FIR.

The agency has so far arrested 10 people in the case, including Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Shah, three key aides, Ayaz Akbar,  Me’raj Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Zahoor Watali andFarooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’.

(With inputs from PTI)