The National Investigation Agency summoned senior Delhi-based cardiologist Upendra Kaul for questioning on Friday after allegedly misunderstanding the use of a medical jargon in a text message that Kashmiri separatist leader Yasin Malik had sent him, NDTV reported. Malik is Kaul’s patient.
Kaul, the chairperson of Batra Hospital in South Delhi, was questioned for half an hour, weeks after he criticised the Narendra Modi government’s decision to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status and split it into two Union Territories.
“I was asked to come in connection with some information I may have, regarding some transfer of money to terrorist organisations,” Kaul told NDTV. “I was questioned quite politely and I answered all the questions very politely.”
The cardiologist was asked about about the text message in which Malik mentioned a blood report and “INR 2.78”. The acronym stood for Internationalised Normalised Ratio, which is a measure of how long it takes blood to form a clot. The doctor said the investigating agency might have mistaken it for “hawala money”.
“In one of the messages, he might have sent me a report, or something, in which he wrote INR 2.78,” Kaul explained. “But that unfortunately was misread as Indian National Rupees 2.78 million or whatever. So when they asked me, I just laughed and I said this is not Indian National Rupee, this is Internationalised Normalised Ratio 2.78 is a normal ratio.”
On August 8, Kaul had asked if the Centre’s decisions were a revenge for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir Valley in the 1990s. “What was done in 1990...are we taking revenge on Kashmiri Muslims now?” he had asked. “That I cannot understand, Article 370 and politics of 370, it has has been hollowed...as Nehru said it will die on its own. People in rest of the country do not even know what 370 means....”
Kaul, who is a Padma Shri awardee, said he did not know if he was questioned because of his comments about the government’s move. “I have no idea,” the doctor told NDTV. “Whatever I was asked, I just replied.” Whatever the government does must be for the larger good of the country, he added.
The National Investigation Agency is investigating terror funding in Kashmir. In May 2017, it registered a case against members of Jammat-ud-Dawa, Duktaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and other separatist groups and leaders in the state for allegedly raising, receiving and collecting funds to fuel separatist and terrorist activities, conspiracy to cause disruption in the Valley, and waging war against India.
Yasin Malik’s Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front was banned in March for allegedly promoting secessionist activities.
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