Terror funding case: Day after raiding scribe, activist, NIA searches six NGOs, trusts in Kashmir, Delhi

Those whose premises were searched include Falah-e-Aam Trust, Charity Alliance in Delhi, Human Welfare foundation, JK Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement and JK Voice of Victims.

Published: 29th October 2020 10:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2020 11:29 AM   |  A+A-

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard as NIA personnel search the premises of AFP’s Kashmir correspondent Parvaiz Bukhari on the outskirts of Srinagar. (Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

SRINAGAR: A day after raids at the premises of a senior AFP journalist, the NIA and J&K Police have expanded their search to include other suspects in the alleged terror funding case.

In continuation of the searches carried out on Wednesday, seven more locations in Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag and Kulgam in the union territory and two locations in Delhi were raided, National Investigation Agency (NIA) spokesperson and Deputy Inspector General Sonia Narang said in a statement.

She said the searches were conducted in connection with a case pertaining to certain registered and unregistered NGOs and Trusts raising funds in the name of charitable activities and then using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The case was registered by the NIA 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 and education.

Among those raided on Thursday included six NGOs -- Charity Alliance headed by former chairman of Delhi Minority Commission Zafar-ul-Islam Khan, Human Welfare Foundation in Anantnag headed by Shabir Ahmed Baba, Falah-e-Aam Trust, a subsidiary of banned Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islamia, J&K Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement, and J&K Voice of Victims

The case was registered on October 8 under various sections of the IPC and the UAPA on receiving "credible information that certain NGOs and Trusts are collecting funds domestically and abroad through so-called donations and business contributions" and then using them to fund terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

The NIA alleged that these funds are sent to Jammu and Kashmir through various channels such as hawala and cash couriers and are used to carry out and sustain secessionist and terrorist activities in the erstwhile state.

Among those raided by the NIA on Thursday were 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-Aam Trust at Budgam run by GM Bhat and Charity Alliance at Delhi run by Zafar ul Islam, who is also former chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission.

The NIA spokesperson said several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized during the searches.

Reacting to the raids, Khan said his home and offices were raided by the NIA this morning from 7-11 am during which the officials 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," he said.

Khan said he had "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," he tweeted.

He said he has been "thrown to stone age. No laptop, no mobile, no desktop. The NIA people said order for raid came from the very top and they were woken up at 4 am for this great task of raiding a journalist. They had no patience. They jumped the wall to enter my house like they did with (P C) Chidambram."

The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) also strongly condemned the NIA raids at the offices of prominent English daily Greater Kashmir and a number of NGOs in Kashmir.

Terming the raids by the NIA as part of political vendetta against the people, the PAGD cautioned the Centre that the raids were "unwarranted" and "unjustified".

"The consequent harassment is bound to deepen uncertainty and alienation of the people and urged it to desist from such vindictive measures," the amalgam of seven mainstream parties, including the NC and PDP, said.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) expressed concern over the pre-dawn NIA raids on Greater Kashmir's premises in Srinagar's Press Enclave.

"Though the NIA after a five-hour wait said the raid was on GK trust, the GK management said the investigating agency checked the computers and took away the hard drives," the KEG said.

Thursday's raids followed the major crackdown which happened the day before on alleged at 10 locations in the valley, including the office of a leading English daily, NGOs and the residences of social activists.  

“The team searched the premises of the newspaper office. They searched the documents and other material available in the office,” a source said.

Simultaneous raids were also carried out at the office of NGO Athrout, and the residence of human rights activist Khurram Parvez (co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society), and his associate Parvez Ahmad Matta, senior AFP journalist Parvez Bukhari and APDP chairperson Parveena Ahangar.

A police official privy to the raids said the investigators confiscated telephones, laptops and storage devices from journalist Bukhari and rights defender Parvez. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Agence France-Presse’s Kashmir correspondent Parvaiz Bukhari, centre, talks to his colleagues after National Investigation Agency personnel searched his premises on the outskirts of Srinagar. (Photo | AP)

The residence of Hurriyat activist Mohammad Yousuf Sofi alias Salman in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district was also raided.  

An NIA spokesperson said searches were conducted at 10 locations in Srinagar and Bandipora with a case pertaining to certain NGOs and trusts raising funds in India and abroad in the name of charitable activities and then allegedly using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities. 

The NIA claimed to have recovered several incriminating documents and electronic devices during the searches.  Sources said that the money came through hawala channels from different parts of the country and abroad and were being used to fund terror through NGOs.

Politicians questioned the authenticity of the raids.  

“NIA raids on human rights activist Khurram Parvez and Greater Kashmir office in Srinagar is yet another example of GoI’s vicious crackdown on freedom of expressions & dissent,” PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.

The raids came days after Indian authorities sealed the office of an English daily, Kashmir Times, causing outrage from journalists and condemnation from global media watchdogs. Authorities said the office was sealed due to administrative reasons but journalists said the move aimed to throttle the free press.

The Kashmir Editors Guild in a statement Wednesday said it was concerned over the “mounting costs of being a journalist in Kashmir” and hoped the region’s media is “permitted to function without hassles and hurdles.”

Reporters Without Borders, a global media watchdog, in August said “press freedom violations by the Indian authorities in Kashmir is unworthy of a democracy.”

(With Agencies Inputs)


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