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14 properties of Geelani, kin worth Rs 150 crore under NIA lens

Author: Rohan Dua, TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 4, 2017
URL:   http://m.timesofindia.com/india/14-properties-of-geelani-kin-worth-rs-150-crore-under-nia-lens/amp_articleshow/59907752.cms

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing seven top Hurriyat separatists over accusations of terror financing in Jammu & Kashmir, has shortlisted as many as 14 properties allegedly owned by the head of the hardline faction Syed Ali Shah Geelani and his family members. The shortlisted properties are estimated to be between Rs 100 crore and Rs 150 crore, officials have said.

TOI has accessed the list of properties under NIA's scanner for hawala and benami transactions. This includes educational institutions, residences and agricultural lands in Kashmir and flats in Delhi allegedly owned by Geelani, his two sons, Naseem and Nayeem, and daughters Anisha, Farhat, Zamshida, and Chamshida. Anisha and Farhat are Geelani's daughters from his second marriage.

At the top of the list is a prime seven-acre land which houses one Unique Public School at Dooru village in Sopore in Baramullah. It's estimated worth is Rs 30 crore, sources said.

NIA sleuths have found that the land for the school was donated in 2001 to Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, an organisation floated by Geelani. However, 5.3 acre of school land was first directly transferred to Geelani as its owner in 2006 and later 1.7 acre was transferred to his son Naseem in March 2017 from one G M Bhatt, who was the school principal. Naseem, who has been summoned by the NIA, was made the lifelong patron of the Mili Trust that operates the school in December last year.

"Since Geelani is growing old, he wanted all the land to be bequeathed to his family members," said an NIA official. "Naseem could not be made the chairman due to protests, but he was made a life-long patron of the school this year, even as two teachersalong with school principal Bhatt, protested against this forceful decision," the NIA added. Naseem, who works as assistant professor at Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University, has a modish home, purchased for Rs 70 lakh in 2006, across the flood channel in Rawalpora in Srinagar, the NIA probe has documented.

Geelani's family refuted the NIA charges. "I've nothing to hide. Our family has always been subjected to torture and harassment and it continues," said Naseem in a statement, claiming that his bank balance at the time of receiving NIA notice was less than Rs 500, while he has a loan liability of Rs 23 lakh. Not far from the school, Geelani also allegedly owns a two-storey house in the same village. According to NIA probe, the house has around 10 rooms. Estimated to be worth Rs 4 crore, its occupants are eldest daughter Zamshida and her husband. The probe found Geelani has a half-acre land in Sopore, believed to be 30-year-old, and is being transferred to the separatist's daughters Anisha and Farhat.
 
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