Cardiologist summoned in terror funding case

Cardiologist summoned in terror funding case

Delhi-based leading cardiologist Dr Upendra Kaul was on Friday summoned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as a witness in connection with terror funding case, days after he appeared on a news channel criticising the scrapping of special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

Kaul's questioning came after NIA recovered a document with some figures from Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik. He explained to the NIA officials it has nothing to do with money but referred to a blood test.

He said he left the NIA headquarters after his explanation. "I explained to them that the figure mentioned was related to his (Malik's) blood reports and not money. The officers were convinced and that's all," PTI quoted Kaul as saying.

Malik, who is presently in Tihar jail in judicial custody, had been Kaul's patient and had consulted him for heart trouble and the entry in the documents pertained to that.

In the notice issued to Kaul, who is also Chairman of Batra Hospitals, he was asked to appear before the investigators at 10:30 AM on Friday under Section 160 of the CrPC which gives investigators powers to summon a person as a witness.

He was told by the NIA that his questioning is required in connection with the case registered in 2017 in which it is alleged that JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and Kashmiri separatist leaders were involved in funding "active militants" of banned terrorist organisations Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba among others for anti-India activities.

According to the NIA, Saeed and separatist leaders, including those from the Hurriyat Conference, have been "acting in connivance with active militants" of the terrorist organisations "for raising, receiving and collecting funds domestically and abroad through various illegal channels, including hawala, for funding separatist and terrorist activities" in Jammu and Kashmir.

"They have entered into a larger criminal conspiracy for causing disruption in the Kashmir valley by way of pelting stones on the security forces, systematically burning of schools, damage to public property and waging war against India," the NIA had said.

In a news show, Kaul, who belongs to Kashmiri Pandit community, had criticised the government for scrapping the special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the Batra Hospital website, he is the first Indian cardiologist to initiate investigator initiated multi centric trials. He is known as a "passionate teacher and an astute clinician" who is credited with starting the coronary angioplasty programme in India and continues to bring innovative techniques in interventional cardiology to the country, it said.