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NIA raids NGOs, trusts in Kashmir, Delhi in connection with terror funding case

NIA headquarters in New Delhi. File photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at seven locations in the Kashmir Valley and at two locations in Delhi for the second day in connection with a case pertaining to “certain NGOs and Trusts raising funds in the name of charitable activities and then using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in J&K.”

Also read: NIA searches 10 places in Kashmir, one in Bengaluru

NIA said the case was registered under various sections of the anti-terror law, UAPA, as per the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on receipt of credible information that certain NGOs and Trusts are collecting funds domestically and abroad through donations and business contributions in the name of various welfare activities such as public health, education etc.

“Further, these funds are sent to J&K through various channels such as hawala and cash couriers and are used to carry out and sustain secessionist and terrorist activities in J&K,” the NIA said in a statement.

The NGOs raided on Thursday are JK Yateem Foundation at Srinagar and Kulgam, the Salvation Movement at Srinagar run by Zafar Akbar Bhat, Human Welfare Foundation at Delhi and Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir Voice of Victims at Baramulla run by Abdul Qadeer. Falah-e-Aaam Trust at Budgam run by G.M. Bhat and Charity Alliance at Delhi run by Zafarul Islam Khan. Mr. Khan is former chairman of Delhi Minorities Commission and the founding editor of Milli Gazette, an english newspaper.

Helped riot victims

Mr. Khan said on Twitter that the raids seemed an attempt to implicate him in “some terror or riot case.” The Charity Alliance has been engaged in providing relief and aid to victims who were affected by riots in February in Delhi.

“My home and offices were raided by NIA this morning from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. They took many papers, all laptops, hard disks of all desktops, cash found etc. They showed me an order on their mobile, issued by one Yadav of NIA to conduct the raid linking me and my NGO with Kashmir terror, although I have no relationship or even contacts with Kashmiri militants and have not even visited Kashmir for many years. It seems an attempt to implicate me in some terror or riot case,” Mr. Khan said.

In another tweet, he said: “Thrown to stone age. No laptop, no mobile, no desktop. NIA people said order for raid came from the very top and they were woken up at 4 a.m. for this great task of raiding a journalist. They had no patience. They jumped the wall to enter my house like they did with Chidambram.”

NIA claimed that several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized during searches.

Later in the day, the Delhi Police registered a case against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Amanatullah Khan for allegedly disrupting NIA raid at the house of Mr Khan. The case was registered after the AAP legislator accompanied by a group of persons stormed into the house while the NIA team was conducting searches. A Delhi Police official said the case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the NIA.

‘Aimed at reprisal’

Meanwhile, an Association of Disappeared Persons (APDP), headed by Praveena Ahanger, described the NIA raids on its office and the house of Ms. Ahangar on Wednesday as “a clear case of reprisal and crackdown on the human rights defenders in Kashmir”.

“The raids seem to be a premeditated and planned assault. Our voices are being brutally crushed. Our demand for justice is being criminalised,” the spokesman said.

According to the APDP, the organisation has been supported for the last nine years by UN funds from the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT).

“In July 2020, the APDP had received an emergency grant from UNVFVT. In September 2020, the APDP had submitted almost 40 testimonies of victims who were subjected to arbitrary detention and torture by security forces in Kashmir to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. With this raid, our work has been disrupted and our staff, including our founder, is being harassed,” the spokesman added.

On Wednesday, NIA raided the office of newspaper Greater Kashmir and the office of civil rights activist Khurram Parvez, co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society in Srinagar.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 11:37:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nia-raids-6-ngos-trusts-in-kashmir-delhi-in-connection-with-terror-funding-case-says-officials/article32969613.ece

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