Arresting Separatists useless until political solution emerges: Congress

| Updated: Jul 26, 2017 20:28 IST

New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): After the arrest of separatist leader Shabir Ahmad Shah by National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Congress party on Wednesday said that the unrest in Kashmir Valley cannot be solved without a political solution. "You can arrest, kill and take action to threaten people to suppress them. However, if you don't take out political solution, then it cannot be solved," Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar told ANI. "They have promised in the agenda for alliance of their coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir that they will talk to all sects of the community to come out with a solution. They should fulfill their own promises," he added. Echoing similar sentiments, another Congress leader Ambika Sonia said that mere arrest are not enough, and that the charges against the Separatists have to be proved in a lawful manner. "They have to prove the charges leveled against them. In the meeting with the government and the opposition, we categorically said that we are going to be supportive with the steps taken for the security and integrity of the country," Soni said. Meanwhile, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir has assured that the Separatists have been arrested only after thorough probe. "The investigation which is being done by the NIA is on the right track. If anybody is being arrested then it has happened after proper probe. This routine will not stop now. It is our responsibility to keep our nation safe. This investigation is happening in the favour of the nation," said Ahir. Separatist leader and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) chairman Shabir Shah was arrested from his residence, where he was under house detention for a very long time, in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar. As per sources, police arrested Shah late yesterday evening. The reason for his arrest is yet unknown as he was already under house arrest since many months. On Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven Separatists over money laundering charges, for funding terror in the Kashmir Valley. All seven separatist leaders - Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate - have been sent to 10-day NIA custody. The accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Six of them were arrested from Srinagar, while Bitta Karate was arrested from New Delhi. The NIA visited Srinagar in May to probe the alleged funding by Pakistan for illegal activities in Kashmir, and questioned several separatist leaders on the issue of raising, collecting and transferring funds via the Hawala route and other channels to fund terror activities in Kashmir. The NIA sleuths specifically questioned separatist leaders Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate and Gazi Javed Baba at that time. The NIA is said to be probing all aspects of funding to separatist leaders and how they reportedly used these funds to fuel unrest in the Kashmir Valley. (ANI)

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