Human Rights Activist Khurram Parvez Arrested in Alleged 'NGO Terror Funding' Case
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested prominent human rights defender Khurram Parvez in a case related to alleged terror funding of NGOs days after the agency first arrested Irfan Mehraj, a journalist in Srinagar.
Parvez worked as program coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) and chairperson of the Philippines-based NGO Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD).
Parvez and Mehraj worked together for some time for the JKCCS, known for its scathing reports on alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NIA, in a statement, said that their investigations have revealed that Parvez has been collecting funds under the "garb" of fighting for human rights from "various international entities, persons based abroad and channelising those funds for funding terror activities in the Kashmir valley."
The agency also alleged that Parvez, who has already been charge-sheeted in another NIA case, and his associates were also propagating a "secessionist agenda" through his various NGOs.
"He was formally arrested upon production, in this case, today," the NIA said.
"The case relates to the terror funding of militant outfits, including Lashkar-e-Toiba( LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen by certain NGOs, Trusts and societies based in the Valley," the statement read.
The agency has also accused Parvez and his associates of raising funds to support individuals who were involved in pelting stones at security forces personnel and also motivated others to extend similar support.
"These trusts and societies, which have been under investigation, have utilised the funds they raised to publish anti-national and incriminating material to cause hatred and disaffection towards the Government of India," the NIA alleged.
Parvez's supporters, which include local civil society, Indian and global human rights bodies including the UN, however, deny his involvement in perpetrating any violence. Many believe that Parvez has become a target for his work, which the media in Kashmir has also been facing, especially under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Following his arrest on March 20, Mehraj, produced in a Delhi Court on Wednesday, was remanded to NIA custody for 10 days along with Parvez. Since the first arrest, media groups and watchdogs have slammed the arrest of Mehraj, terming it as another tactic to silence the press in the already battered media landscape of Jammu and Kashmir.
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