The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned senior Congress leader and former minister G M Saroori to appear before it on February 11 for questioning in connection with the terror incidents in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Saroori, 67, is Jammu and Kashmir Congress vice president and three-time legislator from Inderwal constituency of Kishtwar.
The communally sensitive Kishtwar was rocked by a series of terror incidents since November 2018 after the hilly district was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago.
The terrorists made their appearance felt in Kishtwar town when they shot dead senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar on November 1, 2018, while RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO were assassinated on April 9, 2019. The terrorists also snatched the service rifle of the deputy commissioner's PSO Daleep Kumar on March 8 and the rifle of PSO of People's Democratic Party (PDP) district president Sheikh Nasir Hussain on September 13, last year.
The NIA is investigating the terror cases in the district.
The first major success against the terrorists operating in the district was registered on September 28 last year when security forces killed three ultras, including the mastermind behind the killings Osama Bin Javed, in an encounter in Batote area of Ramban district.
The major breakthrough came when the terrorists were fleeing an offensive by the security forces which saw over a dozen Hizbul Mujahideen militants and their overground workers arrested and several of their hideouts busted in Kishtwar district.
In September last year, Saroori's brother Mohammad Shafi was among a dozen persons booked in two separate FIRs for their alleged links with Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit in the district.
However, Shafi refuted having any links with the Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit and said the allegations against him are "politically motivated" to malign him and his family's image.
Shafi had also said that he was open to free and fair probe, and hopeful that truth would prevail once such an investigation was conducted.