The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 28 October conducted raids at multiple locations in Srinagar, including the office of Greater Kashmir newspaper and the residence of human rights activist Khurram Parvaiz in Sonwar in connection with ‘unaccounted funding’. The offices of NGO Athrout are also being raided.
The NIA has registered a new case to probe into the fundraising activities of the NGO that are funding terrorists and where the funds are being channelled to. Hawala racket, misappropriation of funds and terror funding are some of the allegations against these NGOs, officials said.
In 2016, Khurram Parvez was arrested from his home in Srinagar which stoked a controversy as it was alleged that he was detained without any formal arrest warrant. He was detained for 76 days even after a sessions court ordered his release as he was re-arrested under Public Safety Act.
The residence of Khuram Parvez, a key person running the concerned NGO in Kashmir, was raided on Wednesday by NIA in the latest crackdown on terror funding. Journalists Parvaiz Bukhari and Gowhar Geelani also raided by NIA.
NIA conducted raids at 10 locations in Kashmir alone and another in Bengaluru. Among the 10 sites, nine are in Srinagar while another is in Bandipora. NIA slueths conducted raids at four different locations in Srinagar, including Sonwar, Nawa Kadal, Nehru Park and Pratap Park area.
The Investigation Agency team assisted by the local police and paramilitary forces searched the office of the trust which is located on the premises of a prominent English daily based in Kashmir.
At least three other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) founded in 2000 were raided by the NIA for alleged terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir.
Funds were sourced through hawala channels and were being used to spread terror in Kashmir, said the sources.
Sources said that the money came through hawala channels from different parts of the country and abroad and were being used to fund terror activities in Kashmir through NGOs.
Slamming the move, former J&K chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti has said, “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.”