Srinagar, May 20 (PTI) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today quizzed three Kashmiri separatists in connection with its probe into the role of Lashker-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The NIA team, headed by the Additional Director General, had asked Nayeem Khan, Farooq Ahmed Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’ and Gazi Javed Baba to appear before it for for their explanation on an expose on a television channel where they had claimed receiving funds from Pakistan.

After initial reluctance, the three separatists fell in line and were questioned separately by the team of NIA, which named them in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE) yesterday.

The NIA team will be gathering evidence collected by the Jammu and Kashmir Police about the burning of schools as Khan had claimed that the educational institutions were targeted as per the plans hatched from across the border.

The schools were targeted last year after banned Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.

Besides these three, NIA has named Saeed and Geelani in the PE, which precedes the filing of a case.

Nayeem Khan, who was suspended by Geelani from Hurriyat today, was seen on television during the sting operation purportedly confessing to receiving money from Pakistan-based terror groups.

Geelani suspended Khan’s National Front from the basic membership of the Hurriyat Conference until the clarification of all the related issues comes to fore and the truth comes out, a spokesman for the hardline leader said.

Khan had held a press conference here in which he claimed that the video was “doctored” and challenged the channel to run his full video instead.

“The video is doctored, simulated and a collage of bits and pieces. It does not have a shred of credibility. The agenda of Indian media is to defame the Kashmir struggle and pro-freedom leadership,” he said.

The NIA’s PE alleged that the separatists were receiving funds from the LeT chief to carry out subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley, including pelting security forces with stones, damaging public property and burning schools and other government establishments.

The NIA took cognisance of the news item related to a recording of conversations between a TV reporter and leaders of separatist groups operating in the Kashmir Valley in this regard.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.