The National Investigation Agency on Thursday raided six non-governmental organisations and trusts in Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir in a terror funding case. The raids were a continuation of the agency’s searches at 10 locations in Jammu and Kashmir and one in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
The non-profits searched by the agency were Falah-e-Aam Trust, Charity Alliance, Human Welfare Foundation, JK Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement and J&K Voice of Victims. Charity Alliance and Human Welfare Foundation are based in Delhi, while the rest are in Srinagar, NDTV reported.
“In continuation of yesterday’s search operations, NIA conducted searches at 7 locations in Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag and Kulgam (J&K) and 2 locations in Delhi in connection with the case pertaining to certain NGOs and trusts raising funds in the name of charitable activities and then using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in J&K,” the agency said in a statement.
The NIA said several incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized during the raids. It said that a case was registered on October 8 under Sections 120B (relating to criminal conspiracy) and 124A (sedition) and various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as per the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The investigating agency said it had received information that certain NGOs and trusts were collecting funds through donations, business contributions and other means in the name of welfare activities. “Further, these funds are sent to J&K through various channels such as hawala and cash couriers and are used to carry out and sustain secessionist and terrorist activities in J&K,” it said.
Zafarul-Islam Khan, former chief of Delhi Minority Commission and the chairperson of Charity Alliance, said the raids seemed to be an attempt to implicate him in a terror or a riot case. “They showed me an order on their mobile, issued by one Yadav of NIA to conduct the raid linking me and my NGO with Kashmir terror although I have no relationship or even contacts with Kashmiri militants and have not even visited Kashmir for many years,” Khan tweeted.
He added that his residence and offices were raided on Thursday morning and the agency seized his documents, laptops, hard disks of all desktops and cash, among other things.
The locations raided on Wednesday included the offices of English newspaper Greater Kashmir and NGO Athroot, the home of human rights activist Khurram Parvez, and a houseboat named HB Hilton in the Dal Lake. Officials from the National Investigation Agency were assisted by the local police and the Central Reserve Police Forces.
The premises of Parvez’s associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bengaluru-based associate Swati Sheshadri and Parveena Ahanger, the chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons were also searched. Several “incriminating documents and electronic devices” have been seized, the NIA said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had criticised the raids and said that it was another example of the government’s “vicious crackdown” on freedom of expression and dissent. “Sadly, NIA has become BJP’s [the Bharatiya Janata Party’s] pet agency to intimidate & browbeat those who refuse to fall in line,” she added.