'Wanted' Financial Brain Of J&K Separatists Flees

10 January 2009
The Times of India

Srinagar: Nasir Safi Mir, alleged to be the 'financial brain' behind Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and other separatist leaders, has managed to flee the country after getting a forged passport from a southern state even as Delhi Police claimed that they were still looking for him. According to sources in the central security agencies, Mir against whom a non-bailable warrant was issued, had allegedly bribed some officials of a southern state and made his passport after which he took a route to Nepal and then to Europe. From Europe he was reported to have flown to Libya before finally reaching Dubai, the sources said. Mir, was earlier arrested by Delhi Police in February 2006 while ferrying Rs 55 lakh from a Delhi-based jeweller along with some explosives, but had jumped parole which he had got after several requests made by his family to the court citing medical problems. The 38-year-old Dubai-based businessman, who owns carpet showroom and money exchange firms in Gulf, had been regularly reporting to the nearest police station till earlier October 2008, but after that he did not turn up neither at the police station nor on the hearing date of the court. Mir, who was considered as a prize catch by the Delhi Police following a well-executed operation by central security agencies, was all of a sudden missing prompting the court to issue a non-bailable warrant against him. Delhi Police had shown its inability to trace Mir, whom they had claimed was very much hiding within the country. According to the recent technical intercepts, Mir allegedly spoke to the separatist leadership after reaching Dubai. While trying to trace back his steps, senior officials in the security agencies found that he had been helped by some sleuths of country's external intelligence agency, a Delhi-based Kashmiri businessman and a Srinagar-based hotelier in fleeing the country. A Union cabinet minister had also taken up the case of release of Mir with the government after Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq had put this as one of the pre-conditions for entering into a dialogue. According to the police files, Mir was last spotted publicly with the Mirwaiz in a five star hotel in South Delhi in September 2008. During his interrogation, Mir had allegedly told the cops that the money was meant for the Mirwaiz and also claimed to have spilled beans about huge investments made by the Hurriyat chairman in Dubai, they said. During his custodial interrogation, Mir had alleged that the Mirwaiz had allegedly made certain investments in buying shopping spaces in Dubai besides investing in his (Mir's) money exchange business, the sources claimed. Mir, whose father was picked up in 2001 for funding militant groups in Kashmir valley, has claimed the money was part of the payment that 'some officials in Pakistan had promised to the Mirwaiz for keeping his flock together in Srinagar'. He had also claimed he used to look after the Mirwaiz's foreign trips.