NIA teams swoop on separatist leaders in Kashmir | KNO

Raids conducted at residences of Mirwaiz, Malik, Geelani’s son, Shah, Sehrai, Bhat
NIA teams swoop on separatist leaders in Kashmir | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, February 26 (KNO) : Taking the pro-freedom leadership by a surprise, various teams of National Investigating Agency (NIA) conducted a series of raids at the residences of top separatist leaders in Srinagar and seized electronic gadgets, mobile phones and other documents from their residences. Sources told KNO, the raids were conducted at the residence of Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s son, Nayeem Geelani, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Zafar Akbar Bhat and Masrat Alam Bhat. Local police and CRPF personnel cordoned off the areas before NIA sleuths started the searches at several places in Srinagar. Malik has been in detention since Friday while Shabir Shah is in Delhi’s Tihar jail since July 2017. Sources told KNO that at the residence of Mirwaiz Umar, the NIA team reached at 8:30 in the morning and left at 5:30 pm. “They seized the documents, laptop, mobile phones and also some documents from the office of Mirwaiz,” said sources. Police had made deployment of forces in Nowhatta and other sensitive parts of downtown to prevent any possible protests against the raids. At the residence of JKLF chief, the NIA sleuths, searches his room, books, and took away his phone and a laptop. Soon after the raid at Malik’s house ended, scores of youth took to streets and resorted to stone pelting with shopkeepers downing their shutters as a mark of protest against the raids. At the residence of Sehrai, sources said that the NIA men took away a laptop, passbook of his son, Junaid Sehrai and some documents. Tuesday’s raids came less than a week after the government withdrew the security cover of separatist leaders in Kashmir following the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF troopers were killed after a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus. Over the weekend, the Centre also airlifted 100 companies of paramilitary forces for deployment in Kashmir amid a crackdown on separatists and militants.(KNO)