Senior Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been asked by probe agencies not to leave Delhi to face investigations in connection to the recently unearthed Hawala money trail in Kashmir.
The Hurriyat faction led by Geelani, who is a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, attempted to downplay the investigations in the Hawala case. The outfit also called a bandh in the Valley on Tuesday for the 'harassment' of their leader in Delhi.
Geelani's close aide Ghulam Mohammed Bhat was arrested in January and the Delhi police and Jammu and Kashmir police allegedly recovered Rs 21 lakh from him, which was supposed to be meant for distribution to separatist leaders in the state.
Geelani had told the police team that his advocate would represent him at the police station, a plea which was turned down by the investigators, official sources said on Monday.
During his interrogation, Bhat allegedly told the police that he had passed on money to several separatist leaders including Geelani, following which the Delhi police swung in to action. Last Saturday, yhe police handed over a one-line notice to Geelani, prohibiting him against leaving the city until he appeared at the police station for questioning.
However, a spokesman of the hard-line faction of Hurriyat Conference claimed that Geelani was being implicated in the hawala case to defame the separatist movement in Kashmir.
Ayaz Akbar said the separatist conglomerate did not need hawala money as it was getting enough funds from the people.
"We have baitulmaal (Islamic institutions for collecting money) to take care of the money for carrying forward the movement," he added.
Bhat, against whom five cases including running a hawala racket are already under investigation, was arrested after he was allegedly caught red-handed while receiving Rs 21 lakh.
Bhat was earlier arrested in 2008 in Udhampur district while returning to the Valley with Rs 55 lakh concealed in a gas cylinder.
Two other persons -- one from Kupwara and another from Sopore in north Kashmir -- were also arrested in this case, said sources. More arrests were likely after Bhat's detailed interrogation, they said.