The National Investigation Agency is examining scores of videos in which Devinder Singh Behl is raising pro ‘azadi’ slogans. Behl who is a close aide of Kashmir separatist, Syed Ali Shah Geelani also heads the Jammu and Kashmir Social Peace Forum. He is also a member of the Hurriyat’s legal cell.
In several videos he is heard raising the freedom slogan and urges people not to let the martyrdom of terrorists go in vain. The NIA says that these videos apart from a plethora of documents are under scrutiny. His 6 visits to Pakistan are also under the scanner. NIA officials say that his visits to Pakistan are under scrutiny. He has been in touch with members of the Pakistan High Commission and may have passed on classified information, the NIA also suspects.
The NIA conducted two raids on Behl on Sunday and Monday. The ancestral home of Devinder Singh Behl at Nowshera was raided by the NIA on Monday. On Sunday the NIA had raided his residence in Jammu and even questioned him in connection with the terror funding case. An NIA statement said that Behl was a courier for the money sent from Pakistan to the Hurriyat to organise stone pelting in the Valley. The NIA is investigating into his role as courier as he is suspected to be involved in routing funds to the separatist leaders from Pakistan-based handlers,” an NIA statement said. Learnt to be close to Geelani, Behl has reportedly also hosted separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabir Shah at his Jammu residence in the past. While being whisked away by NIA officials from his residence, Behl told mediapersons, “We do not want violence, but peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue”.
Behl hails from Nowshera in the Rajouri district. He settled in Jammu some two decades ago. He is married and is a father to two daughters. In 2013, he visited Pakistan, where he was arrested for trying to go to Mirpur without permission. Besides sharing dais with separatist leaders on several occasions, he often makes posts on the social media, accusing security forces of committing human rights violation in the Valley. After the death of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter, Behl had put up posts supporting the separatists’ demand for “Azadi”.