NIA raids NGOs, trusts in Kashmir, Delhi in connection with terror funding case: Officials
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.PTI | Srinagar | Updated: 29-10-2020 20:13 IST | Created: 29-10-2020 20:13 IST
After choking the funding of separatist groups, the NIA carried out fresh raids for the second day on Thursday on some more organisations as part of its investigations into NGOs within and outside Jammu and Kashmir that are allegedly being used as modes for "terror funding". 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.
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.
The NIA had on Wednesday searched 10 locations in the Valley and one in Bangalore in connection with the same case of diversion of funds. Those whose premises were searched include Khurram Parvez (coordinator of the J&K Coalition of Civil Society), his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bangalore-based associate Swati Sheshadri as well as Parveena Ahanger, chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP). The offices of the NGO Athrout and GK Trust, owned by prominent English daily Greater Kashmir's Fayaz Kaloo, were also searched, the statement added. The APDP issued a statement saying all information and material sought by the raiding team was provided to them. "The team examined all documents relating to APDP's work. They subsequently seized several documents and some electronic devices. Ahanagar's (heading APDP) mobile phones were also seized," the statement said.
They alleged that the documents and devices seized by the NIA team contain details of the names, identities and incidents of human rights abuses by security personnel. "There is a grave apprehension that the same may be accessed by other agencies, and/or lead to adverse consequences and reprisal against victims and families who have testified and are pursuing justice," it said. The statement further said the APDP neither receives foreign funding nor engages in any illegal activities and the raid has no basis and only "exposes the state's desperation to deter APDP from pursuing justice for hundreds of victims of human rights violations committed by state actors in Kashmir." After the NIA's crackdown on separatist groups in Kashmir, Pakistan's ISI has been searching for ways and means to fund terror activities, the anti-terror probe agency has claimed.