India

Terror-funding probe: Mirwaiz says won't appear before NIA in Delhi, cites security threat

Terror-funding probe: Mirwaiz says won't appear before NIA in Delhi, cites security threat

All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has sent a written response through his counsel to the NIA in New Delhi, stating that he will not be able to appear before the agency in the National Capital in a case of alleged terror funding, citing a threat to his safety while saying that he is being victimised for his political views advocating the cause of Kashmir.

Mirwaiz said that he would instead be available to appear before the agency in Srinagar. The NIA had asked him to appear before it in Delhi on Monday. He is the first separatist leader to refuse to appear before the agency in person in Delhi.

“There are a few serious and vital concerns, which are as follows: i) the security of my client in case your agency insists that he travels to Delhi, ii) the resultant situation that may emerge in Valley and iii) the possible disturbance of fragile situation for its obvious reasons that religious sentiments of the people of state would be aggrieved… Under the prevailing conditions of hostility wherein there is a threat to the personal safety of my client, it becomes unwise for my client to travel to Delhi,” Mirwaiz’s counsel Ajaz Ahmad Dhar said in the written response. “If NIA wants to examine my client, Mohammad Umar Farooq, they can do so in Srinagar. He is willing to cooperate as he has nothing to hide.

“Mirwaiz is being victimized solely for his political views advocating the cause of Kashmir. This is evident through the vicious media campaign carried on the basis of unsubstantiated and adhoc leaks of information from the investigating agency, which has vitiated the atmosphere in India. This has also led to violent verbal and physical assault that Kashmiris are facing across India,” the response reads. “Therefore, unsubstantiated attempts to link Mirwaiz in false and fabricated cases of ‘terror funding’ through manipulation and exercise of powers is unjustified. It is clearly aimed to silence him through intimidation and harassment.”

The response further states, “He has always stated that the Kashmir issue is a political and human issue which needs a political resolution either through the implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue amongst the three stakeholders — India, Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir….”