Monday, June 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Geelani arrested under POTA
Rs 10 lakh, $ 10,000 seized from house; 2 sons-in-law also held
Tribune News Service

Policemen enter the residence
Policemen enter the residence of senior Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at Hyderpora in Srinagar on Sunday. — PTI photo

Srinagar, June 9
In a pre-dawn swoop, police and Income Tax officials arrested senior Hurriyat Conference leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and his son-in-law during raids at nine different premises of suspected persons today. Geelani, a former APHC chairman from whose residence a cash amount of over Rs 10 lakh and $ 10,000 were seized, has been shifted to the Central Jail, Ranchi, while search for Asiya Andrabi, chief of Dukhtaran-e-Millat, who has gone underground, is on.

Giving details after the arrest, the Director-General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Mr A.K. Suri, said here this morning that the cases registered against Geelani and Asiya under POTA were being investigated. The raids were conducted at nine premises, prominent among them being the residence of Geelani, his son-in-law, Altaf Ahmad Shah, alias Fantoosh, Asiya, chief of the underground women’s separatist group, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, and Abdul Rashid Saraf in Srinagar and Baramula districts.

The DGP claimed that the arrest of Imtiaz Bazaz under POTA here on May 25 followed by his interrogation clearly proved “that the UK-based Dr Ayub Thokur, president of the World Kashmir Freedom Movement, is regularly sending money to finance militant tanzeems in J&K.” He said the arrest of Bazaz brought to light his involvement in channeling finances emanating from Pakistan’s ISI through Dr Thokur for militant and separatist leaders, including Asiya. The interrogation of Bazaz also brought out that Syed Salahuddin, Pak-based supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, had been sending money to his commanders in the state through Dr Thokur and Geelani.

“This matter was brought to the notice of Mr Jack Straw, British Foreign Secretary, during his visit to Delhi last week and the British Government is believed to be taking cognizance of the same”, Mr Suri said.

Early last year, the DGP claimed Salahuddin had sent a consignment of Rs 48 lakh to Geelani through Dr Thokur. Similarly after the arrest of Asiya’s husband, Qasim Paktu, early this year, the Tanzeem (Jamiatul Mujahideen) had been facing a severe financial crunch and as a result Asiya started getting money from Dr Thokur through Bazaz to provide adequate finances to the JuM as well as the Dukhtaran-e-Millat for carrying out their militant and subversive activities.

Apart from over Rs 10 lakh in cash and $ 10,000, various other items, including three vehicles valued at more than Rs 10 lakh and vouchers relating to the purchase of jewellery items and other valuables have also been recovered from the Hyderpora residence of the APHC leader, the police said. As per the initial assessment of Income Tax officials, monthly expenditure at the residence was more than Rs 1.50 lakh, the police chief held, adding that this was against the declared annual income of Rs 7,100 as pension for being former MLA, which is less than Rs 1,500 per month. Several documents relating to the purchase of properties have also been seized from the residence of Altaf Ahmad Shah, son-in-law of Geelani.

It was also revealed that GM Baba, driver of Geelani and his close confidant, had so far been found in possession of a Dumper truck worth Rs 2.4 lakh, a drilling machine worth Rs 1.3 lakh and documents relating to mining contract business of stone quarries for construction purposes.

The separatist APHC has expressed serious concern over the arrest of its former chairman, Geelani, and called for a general strike on Tuesday to protest against the “unwarranted” arrests of its leaders and misuse of POTA.

NEW DELHI: Ifthikar Geelani, another son-in-law of Geelani, was arrested here under the Official Secrets Act for possessing some classified information, including Army troop movements in Jammu and Kashmir.

Ifthikar was arrested after the search party seized some classified documents from his residence, official sources said.

During the search operation, the raiding party seized a laptop computer containing sensitive information which included movements of troops in Jammu and Kashmir.

Some other classified documents were also seized from his possession which were termed as detrimental to the security of the country.

During the search, the police also seized some blank visa forms of the Pakistan High Commission, which, the sources claimed were being used to secure visas from the high commission.

The sources claimed that Geelani used to refer persons to Ifthikar, who in turn would send them to the high commission for stamping of visa.

Ifhtikar is the resident Editor of two Pakistan-based newspapers, The Nation and The Friday Times, besides being the Bureau Chief of the Jammu-based Kashmir Times.

RANCHI: Former All-Party Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, arrested in Srinagar on Sunday morning under POTA, was brought here by a special flight and taken to the Birsa Munda Central Jail (Ranchi Central Jail) under a heavy security cover.


Laptop seized from Geelani’s kin

New Delhi, June 9
A laptop computer, containing sensitive information was today seized from the residence of Ifthikar Geelani, son-in-law of arrested Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, during raids carried out by income tax officials and the police here.

Several blank visa forms of the Pakistan High Commission were also seized from his residence, highly placed Income Tax sources said.

They said preliminary scrutiny of the laptop showed it contained highly sensitive information detrimental which was to the security of the country.

Efforts to contact Ifthikar for his comments did not fructify.

His premises was among the 11 places raided in the wee hours to probe funding of militants in Jammu and Kashmir through “business channel”. PTI


Pak condemns Geelani’s arrest

Islamabad, June 9
Pakistan has strongly criticised India for arresting its die hard supporter and Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in “utter disregard” of fundamental rights and demanded his immediate release.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Pakistan Foreign Office here said Mr Geelani’s arrest reflected the Indian Government’s “utter disregard” for the fundamental rights of the Kashmiris.

“The government of Pakistan calls upon the Indian Government to immediately release Mr Geelani as well as other detained Kashmiri leaders and political workers,” he said. PTIBack

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