Delhi Police releases Geelani after four-hour questioning
Geelani was picked up en route to the airport in a hawala money trail after his aide named him
Syed Ali Shah Geelani
The Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani this morning. Soon after it happened, police sources said Geelani has not been arrested but has been taken into custody for questioning.
Geelani, who is not keeping good health right now, has been asked to explain a money trail, which the authorities believe is part of a hawala racket.
Immediately after he was picked up, the Delhi Police barred Geelani from moving out of Delhi until his interrogation is complete.
Geelani is being questioned in a case related to one of his aides Ghulam Mohammad Bhat. Geelani’s son Naeem Geelani had earlier told TEHELKA that the Delhi Police had agreed to question the militant leader at his residence in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar locality. “But they didn’t turn up until Monday, 28 February, and then we decided to leave for Srinagar on Tuesday morning, 1 March,” he said.
The Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) sleuths intercepted Geelani’s taxi at a south Delhi government colony RK Puram and took Geelani and Naeem to an undisclosed destination.
Till the time of writing, the police have not officially announced the arrest. However, sources told TEHELKA that the vehicle carrying Geelani and his son headed to the Special Cell office at Lodhi Road. Geelani is being questioned there by a battery of sleuths.
Geelani arrived in New Delhi on 27 January for a medical check-up. He is being treated by renowned oncologist Dr. Sameer Koul.
On 27 November, the Delhi Police filed a sedition case against Geelani and writer Arundhati Roy on a court directive, for their alleged anti-India speeches at a seminar in Delhi.
The Delhi Police have slapped Sections 124 A (sedition), 153 A (promoting enmity between two communities), 153 B (assertion against national integration), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) against Geelani.
However, it got more complex when the Delhi Police arrested Geelani’s associate Ghulam Muhammad Bhat in December in a hawala case. Investigations in this case led the trail to Geelani, sleuths said. Apparently, Bhat is alleged to have told the police that he had passed money to several separatist leaders including Geelani.
As the Delhi Police is investigating two cases against Geelani, it asked him to indicate a ‘convenient’ date and time when he could meet an officer investigating the hawala case in which Bhat was arrested.
A letter was sent on 17 February to Geelani asking him to meet the investigating officer in the hawala case.
But Geelani had told the police that his advocate would represent him at the police station. The police did not accept this. Sources said Geelani then told the police that he was unwell and would not be able to attend the interrogation sessions.
The police apparently said they would wait for Geelani to recover but he couldn’t leave the city till he gives a statement.