NIA raids multiple places in J&K in terror-funding case

NIA raids multiple locations in Kashmir to probe terror funding

Sources said the sleuths of the premier national probe agency raided the office of Greater Kashmir newspaper in Press Enclave

The raids are being conducted as part of a new case registered by NIA related to certain NGOs allegedly raising funds for separatist activities. Credit: DH File Photo

In an early morning swoop, the National Investigative Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out raids at multiple locations in Srinagar, including the premises of non-government organisations (NGOs) and a local English daily, in connection with an alleged terror funding probe.

These entities were receiving money from undisclosed donors which was then being used to fund terror activities, according to an NIA release. Besides Srinagar, the raids were carried in Bandipora in north Kashmir and one location in Bengaluru.

The premises that were searched include the 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 the Greater Kashmir Trust, the statement said.

“Several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized and further investigation in the case is continued,” it added.

The raids are being conducted as part of a case registered in early October by the NIA related to certain NGOs allegedly raising funds for separatist activities.

Since early 2017, the NIA has been continuously carrying out raids in Kashmir in connection with alleged terror funding, fidayeen (suicide) attack cases and the agency has arrested and questioned dozens of people in the last more than three years.

PDP President and former Chief Minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the NIA has emerged as a “pet agency” of the ruling BJP “to intimidate and browbeat those who refuse to fall in line”.

“NIA raids on human rights activist Khurram Parvez & Greater Kashmir office in Srinagar is yet another example of GOIs vicious crackdown on freedom of expression & dissent. Sadly, NIA has become BJPs pet agency to intimidate & browbeat those who refuse to fall in line (sic),” she tweeted.

In another tweet, Mehbooba said, “At a time when J&K’s land & resources are being plundered, GOI wants media publications to write op-eds about diabetes & yoga. In BJP’s ‘all is well’ charade, truth is the biggest casualty. Any journalist unwilling to become a part of Godi media is targeted.”

The former CM was referring to new land laws issued by the central government, allowing outsiders to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, only residents of J&K were allowed to purchase land in the erstwhile state.

The scrapping of the J&K’s special powers under Article 370 of the Constitution last August paved the way for this change in land law.