Jailed Hurriyat leader’s wife passes away in Srinagar

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Srinagar: The ailing wife of Hurriyat (G) leader and spokesman Ayaz Akbar Bhat passed away in Srinagar after a brief illness.

Family sources confirmed to a local news agency, Kashmir Dot Com (KDC) that Rafeeqa Begum, wife of Hurriyat leader, passed away on the intervening night of Thursday-Friday at Maloora Srinagar.

They said Rafeeqa was diagnosed with metastatic cancer (IV stage of Cancer), for the past several years after that she was moved to the hospital for treatment. However, she passed away at her residence here.

According to KDC, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested dozens of Hurriyat members from Srinagar and Delhi. Among those arrested including Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah (also known as Altaf Fantoosh), Geelani’s close aides Naeem Khan, Merazuddin Kalwal and Pir Saifulla, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar, and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq’s close aide and spokesperson Shahid-ul-Islam, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Asiya Andrabi, Famida Sofia, Nahida Nasreen and many others were arrested in Srinagar in connection with militant funding case.

NIA has held several raids in the residences of Hurriyat leaders across the Kashmir valley.

The NIA investigation, which began way back in May 2017 after the agency registered a preliminary inquiry into the funding of pro-freedom leaders in the Valley.

An NIA official said that money had been reaching pro-freedom leaders through hawala operatives to fan the unrest in Kashmir.

The arrests, however, were made only after the questioning of the pro-freedom leaders and when the agency had gathered “conclusive evidence about their involvement in the case”, NIA officials added. (KDC)

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