NIA will interrogate former J&K MLA for links with Commander Hizbul Mujahideen

SRINAGAR: He (NIA) will interrogate former Sheikh J&K MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid for his links with the self-appointed commander Naveed 'Babu', arrested along with the DSP of the Jammu and Kashmir police suspended Davinder Singh, officials said Monday.

Rashid, popularly known as 'Engineer Rashid' and leader of the (AIP), competed as an independent candidate in the constituency of the 2014 Langate assembly in northern Kashmir.

He is currently in judicial custody in the Tihar Prison after being arrested by the NIA on August 9 in connection with a case related to the discovery of terrorist activities in the former state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said the agency would soon approach the court to seek a production order to summon Rashid and ask him about his association with the alias of Naveed 'Babu', whose full name is Syed Naveed Mushtaq Ahmad.

He is currently in the custody of the NIA until February 6.

Rashid was arrested along with suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jammu and Kashmir Davinder Singh on January 11. The police officer allegedly transported Naveed along with two others outside the Kashmir Valley.

As reported by PTI last week, Naveed had stated during the interrogation that he had been in constant contact with the legislator to establish a firm base for the terrorist group in northern Kashmir and was looking for possible hiding places in that area, the officials.

It is definitely a serious crime and needs to be thoroughly investigated, they said, while justifying the need to question Rashid.

Together with Singh and Naveed, Rafi Ahmed Rather and Irfan Shafi Mir, who claims to be a defender, were also arrested on the day of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Qazigund.

On January 23, Naveed's brother, Syed Irfan Ahmed, was also arrested after he was brought from Punjab. He was in constant contact with his brother and had asked him to look for an accommodation in Chandigarh, where they could escape from the hard winter months of Kashmir.

Last year too, Singh had transported Naveed to Jammu and facilitated his return to Shopian after resting and recovering.

Rashid was first a conventional politician who was arrested by the NIA last year in connection with a case related to the financing of terrorist activities in Kashmir.

His name came during the interrogation of the businessman arrested by the NIA for allegedly providing money to terrorist and separatist groups in the valley.

The NIA had registered the case against separatist and secessionist leaders, including unknown members of the Hurriyat Conference, who had been acting in collusion with active militants from the proscribed terrorist organizations Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and other sets and gangs in 2016.

The case was recorded for raising, receiving and raising funds through various illegal means, including the hawala, to finance separatist and terrorist activities in the former state and for causing disturbances in the valley by throwing stones at security forces, burning schools , damage public property. and waging a war against India, said the research agency at the FIR.

Hafiz Saeed, chief of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit, has been named in the FIR as an accused.

The FIR also names organizations such as the two factions of the Hurriyat, one directed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the other by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hizbul Mujahideen and Dukhtaran-e-Millat, a set of separatists composed exclusively of women.