| Srinagar |
Up to date: October 29, 2020 7:15:24 am
IN A coordinated motion focusing on activists, NGOs and information organisations primarily based in J&Okay, the Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) stated Wednesday that it has conducted searches at ten locations in Srinagar and Bandipora, and one in Bengaluru, in reference to a case of funds being raised from “India and overseas within the title of charitable actions” and allegedly used “for finishing up secessionist and separatist actions in J&Okay”.
The areas that have been focused included the places of work of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), English every day Higher Kashmir and NGO Athrout — and the residences of main activists, together with JKCCS coordinator Khurram Parvez.
The motion drew sharp criticism from political leaders within the Valley, with PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti describing it as a “vicious crackdown on freedom of expression” and Peoples Convention president Sajad Lone saying that the “raids add to the surroundings of worry”.
The Kashmir Editors’ Guild (KEG) condemned the raids and stated that the native media “continues to get focused, demonised, villified and raided by each the state and non-state actors…”
The NIA stated in a press release that it “performed searches at 10 areas in Srinagar & Bandipora (J&Okay) and 1 location in Bangalore in reference to a case pertaining to sure so-called NGOs and Trusts elevating funds in India and overseas within the title of charitable actions after which utilizing these funds for finishing up secessionist and separatist actions in J&Okay”.
The company claimed that “a number of incriminating paperwork and digital gadgets have been seized.”
It stated that the raids have been a part of a case registered on October 8, primarily based on “credible info that sure NGOs and Trusts are gathering funds domestically and overseas by so-called donation and enterprise contributions, and so on., and are then utilising these funds for secessionist and terrorist actions in J&Okay”.
Among the many entities raided was JKCCS, a federation of rights teams and activists in J&Okay that was based in 2000 by Parvez Imroz. Its coordinator Khurram Parvez, whose residence was searched, additionally serves as Chairman of Asian Federation In opposition to Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and was recipient of the 2006 Reebok Human Rights Award. Parvez had misplaced his leg in a landmine whereas monitoring the 2004 Parliamentary elections.
The company additionally searched the residences of Parvez Ahmad Matta, a JKCCS office-bearer, and Parveena Ahanger, chairperson of the Affiliation of Dad and mom of Disappeared Individuals (APDP) who received the 2017 Rafto Prize for Human Rights.
The residence of journalist Parvez Bukhari, who works for the wire service Agence France Presse (AFP), was additionally searched with the NIA describing him as “an affiliate” of Parvez.
The NIA stated its raids additionally centered on Higher Kashmir Belief, which was based after the 2014 floods and is affiliated to GK Communications, which runs Higher Kashmir and the Urdu every day Kashmir Uzma. Higher Kashmir founder and proprietor Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo had been summoned by the company final 12 months.
NIA officers additionally raided the workplace of Athrout, which is a distinguished charitable group that runs a dialysis centre in Srinagar and a fleet of ambulances, and offers drugs at discounted charges. The NGO has been lively in tackling the Covid outbreak and donated six moveable ventilators to the Shere Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).
In a press release posted on social media, Athrout stated: “We wish to inform all our nicely wishers that NIA visited our Head workplace right now. That they had a couple of queries concerning our working, which have been requested in a really pleasant & skilled method & all of the required particulars have been offered accordingly & transparently.” It stated that its “operations will proceed as regular”.
Reacting to the raids, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti posted on Twitter: “NIA raids on human rights activist Khurram Parvez & Higher Kashmir workplace in Srinagar is one more instance of GOIs vicious crackdown on freedom of expression & dissent. Sadly, NIA has develop into BJP’s pet company to intimidate & browbeat those that refuse to fall in line.”
Peoples Convention President Sajad Lone stated: “NIA raids add to the surroundings of worry. GK basically was one establishment which struggled its approach to the highest. The establishment now stares helplessly as worry and slander take over. Hoping towards hope that sanity prevails.”
The Kashmir Editors’ Guild stated: “Although NIA stated that the raid was on GK Belief, GK Administration stated the investigating company checked the computer systems and took away the onerous disks…KEG expresses its concern over the mounting prices of being a journalist in Kashmir. It hopes that Kashmir media is permitted to perform with out hassles and hurdles.”
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