NIA questions the editor of Kashmir daily in a case of financing of terrorism

SRINAGAR: The owner and editor of a little-known local newspaper in English, Kashmir Reader, Mohammad Hayat Bhat, appeared on Tuesday at the NIA headquarters in Delhi to be questioned in connection with a case of terrorist financing, official sources said. .

The NIA had summoned Hayat Bhat, also known as Haji Hayat, last week. The interrogation was still ongoing, the officials added.

Kashmir Reader was launched in 2012 by Bhat, who ran a small advertising agency called Helpline Advertising Agency with help from some other country, official sources said.

Bhat got the Srinagar Municipal Corporation hoarding installation contract for government advertisements for 10 years, at about 150 places across Srinagar, for a large amount in 2007, said a municipal corporation official.

A senior official of the NIA said that Bhat has close relationships with the outfit of terror Lashkar-e-Taiba and has hired well-known jihadist journalists to write for his newspaper. These jihadist journalists are now also executive members of the Kashmir Press Club, the official added.

The agency, according to sources, is examining the creation of a group called the Kremlin Publishers Guild by a few publishers. He fears that the guild is the creation of an ISI-based media cell.