NIA raids continue in J&K over 'fund diversion' by NGOs

NIA raids continue in Kashmir, Delhi over 'fund diversion' by NGOs

National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials come out of the Greater Kashmir office after conducting a raid, at Press Colony in Srinagar, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. Credit: PTI Photo

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing alleged diversion of funds meant for charitable work to secessionist and separatist activities, continued its raids on the second consecutive day on Thursday at multiples locations in Kashmir and Delhi, during which it seized incriminating documents and electronic devices.

Sources said the NIA teams conducted raids at nine places in Kashmir and one in Delhi on Thursday. The NIA raided the offices of Falah-e-Aam Trust, Charity Alliance, Human Welfare Foundation, JK Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement and J&K Voice of Victims (JKVoV), all in Kashmir, they said.

On Wednesday, the premier probe agency had raided 10 locations in Kashmir and one in Bangalore in connection with the same case. Several incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized during the searches.

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Those whose premises were searched include residence and office of Khurram Parvez (coordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society), his associates Parvez Bukhari, Parvez Matta and Bengaluru-based associate Swati Sheshadri, Parveena Ahanger, Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons and offices of NGO Athrout and Greater Kashmir Trust.

The raids are being conducted as part of a case registered in early October by the NIA in connection with a case of funds being raised by certain NGOs and trusts from “India and abroad in the name of charitable activities” and allegedly being used “for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in J&K.”

The raids have drawn severe criticism from political leaders in the Valley, with PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti describing it as a “vicious crackdown on freedom of expression” and Peoples Conference president Sajad Lone saying that the “raids add to the environment of fear.”

However, surprisingly, another former CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, who usually reacts on most of the issues on his Twitter handle, remained silent over the NIA raids.