Luthra to han­dle J&K ter­ror fund­ing case

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - REGION HINDUSTANTIMES - Azaan Javaid

NEWDELHI: The Union home min­istry has ap­pointed Sid­harth Luthra, who served as the Ad­di­tional So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral (ASG) dur­ing the UPA regime, to serve as the special pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor in the Jammu and Kash­mir ter­ror fund­ing case.

The se­nior ad­vo­cate will ap­pear for the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) in case bail ap­pli­ca­tions or writ petitions re­lat­ing to the case are moved in the Supreme Court.

Luthra has al­ready rep­re­sented the agency when a special Delhi court took up the ter­ror fund­ing case.

The NIA had ar­rested mul­ti­ple sep­a­ratist lead­ers as well as busi­ness­men for al­legedly fu­el­ing last year’s un­rest in the Val­ley by pro­vid­ing the pro­test­ers with funds that came from Pak­istan.

Al­though min­istry and NIA sources con­firmed Luthra’s ap­point­ment, the 51-year-old told HT that he had not re­ceived any in­ti­ma­tion.

Cho­sen as the ASG dur­ing the Man­mo­han Singh gov­ern­ment, Luthra in the past served as the special pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor in the Nirb­haya gang rape case.

He has also rep­re­sented Union fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley in the crim­i­nal defama­tion law­suit filed by him against Delhi chief min­is­ter Arvind Ke­jri­wal.

NGO SEEKS SEDI­TION CASE AGAINST FA­ROOQ

In Jammu, the Bharat Rak­sha Manch, a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion (NGO) headed by Hu­nar Gupta, on Tues­day staged a protest against for­mer chief min­is­ter and Na­tional Con­fer­ence pres­i­dent Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah for his pro-pak­istan state­ment.

Known for chang­ing his tone and tenor when out of power, Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah re­cently had stated that the POK be­longs to Pak­istan, in a strik­ing con­trast to a unan­i­mous res­o­lu­tion passed by the In­dian Par­lia­ment in 1994, wherein it was de­cided to re­trieve oc­cu­pied Kash­mir from Pak­istan. The NGO ac­tivists de­manded slap­ping of sedi­tion case against Ab­dul­lah for his “se­ces­sion­ist state­ments”.

On Oc­to­ber 26, dur­ing BJP’S Ac­ces­sion Day cel­e­bra­tions here, Union min­is­ter Jitendra Singh had made it clear that “there is no Kash­mir is­sue ex­cept tak­ing back Pak­istan oc­cu­pied Jammu & Kash­mir (POJK)”.

Ad­dress­ing a gath­er­ing on Tues­day, Gupta said, “Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah, whose three gen­er­a­tions have en­joyed chief min­is­ter­ship of the state, is play­ing to the gal­leries for few votes. “

He said mak­ing such con­tro­ver­sial state­ments on POK is not only crim­i­nal but also amounts to breach of priv­i­lege of the Par­lia­ment by an elected mem­ber of the Lok Sabha. “If Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah does not agree with the unan­i­mously adopted res­o­lu­tion of In­dian Par­lia­ment then he should quit from Lok Sabha and join sep­a­ratist's camp,” Gupta added.

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