New Delhi/ Srinagar: Widening the scope of its investigation in the terror funding case, the National Investigation Agency has issued summons to the president of the Kashmir high court bar association (HCBA) Main Abdul Qayoom.
Qayoom, as head of the HCBA, had recently petitioned Supreme Court against the use of pellet guns, calling it an infringement of Fundamental Right to Life guaranteed under article 21.
NIA has asked Qayoom to join investigations at the NIA Delhi headquarters on Wednesday.
Sources within the NIA said that Qayoom is suspected to have monetary links with separatist leaders under the scanner in the terror funding case and hence he has been summoned to answer questions.
"Qayoom's property, life style and refusal to file income tax returns has also made NIA ask questions about his alleged links with terror funders," an NIA source said.
An influential lawyer, Qayoom has been close to separatist leaders in Kashmir and has openly proclaimed his disdain towards India. In July 2010 he was arrested under the Public Safety Act and was charged with waging war against the country.
He has been fighting cases of separatists, militants and stone pelters and is a strong votary of Kashmir's independence.
He has also survived an assassination bid. In April 1995, two gunmen fired at Qayoom, leaving him grievously injured.
But even with this background, Qayoom's popularity in the Kashmir HCBA continues. Lawyers in the past have gone on strike when action was taken against Qayoom and on Monday they threatened a prolonged strike when news of NIA summons was made public.
On August 17, the NIA arrested prominent Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali on charges of passing money from Pakistan to militants, separatists and stone-pelters in the valley.
Earlier, the agency arrested seven separatist leaders in connection with its probe into terror funding from Pakistan and militant groups there.