Terror funding: NIA summons J&K traders' body, PhD student

Kashmir Inc has called for a bandh on Monday to register its protest over the issue

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Terror funding: NIA summons J&K traders' body, PhD student
File photo of a search by NIA in Kashmir; inset: KTMF president Mohommad Yaseen Khan

The traders here are bracing up for a showdown with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after the latter summoned their president, as well as a university scholar, for questioning in the terror funding case.

The agency has summoned Kashmir Traders' and Manufacturers' Federation (KTMF) president Mohommad Yaseen Khan and research scholar of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Kashmir Aala Fazili for questioning at their headquarters in New Delhi on Monday.

The NIA action has triggered a chain reaction with Kashmir Inc calling the move as "an attempt to trample Kashmir's economy". Major trade bodies including KTMF, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA and transporters have joined hands and called for valley-wide strike against NIA action on Monday.

"Summoning business leaders is nothing but a ploy of the Centre to crush our fragile economy. We have been apprehending that the attempts are being made to crush the economy of Kashmir. Our worst fears came true when NIA issued summons," said Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, vice-president of KTMF.

Separatist Hurriyat Conference too has jumped onto the bandwagon to condemn the summoning of Khan and Fazili. "These moves are clearly aimed at putting pressure on individuals and organisations who are sympathetic to the Freedom struggle. Government of India is using NIA and ED as tools of state to harass and intimidate people," said the spokesperson of moderate Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

He said the line of action adopted by the NIA and ED is purely aimed at changing the focus from the real issue of Kashmir dispute and an attempt to defame every segment of Kashmiri society.

"These efforts were made in the past as well but failed to change the nature of Kashmir's genuine and sacred struggle and the fresh assault is also destined to fail. Kashmir issue is a reality accepted by the world community as there is already 18 UN resolutions pending implementation in the UN Security Council," he said.

The summons come months after seven separatists and businessman including son-in-law of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani and a top aide of moderate leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in the terror and stone pelting funding cases.

Those arrested included Altaf Ahmed Shah alias Fantoosh, the son in law of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Peer Saifullah, political secretary of Geelani, Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Geelani led Hurriyat Conference, Raja Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal, Srinagar district president of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat led by Geelani and Shahid-ul-Islam, media secretary of Mirwaiz.

Others leaders arrested include National Front chairman and suspended provincial president of hard-line Hurriyat Nayeem Ahmad Khan and former militant commander and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (R) leader Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate. Top businessman Zahoor Watali was also arrested by the NIA.

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