'Crackdown On Human Rights Defenders': NGOs, Journalists, Politicians Slams NIA Raids In Kashmir Valley

Meryl Sebastian
·2-min read
Outside National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi.
Outside National Investigation Agency (NIA) in New Delhi.

The NIA on Wednesday raided 10 locations in Kashmir Valley and one in Bangalore in connection with a case related to NGOs and trusts diverting funds meant for charitable activities to secessionist and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Premises searched include Khurram Parvez (coordinator of the J&K Coalition of Civil Society), AFP journalist Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bangalore-based Swati Sheshadri as well as Parveena Ahanger, chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), offices of NGO Athrout and Greater Kashmir Trust.

The National Investigation Agency’s statement said it had seized several incriminating documents and electronic devices, but the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons, one of the places raided, called it “a premeditated and planned assault.”

A statement released by ADPD said: “This is a clear case of reprisal and crackdown on human rights defenders (HRDs) in Kashmir. Our voices are being brutally crushed. Our demand for justice is being criminalized.”

“It is important to note that APDP, led by Parveena Ahangar, has been supported since the last 9 years by UN funds from the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT). In July 2020, APDP had received an emergency grant from UNVFVT. In September 2020, APDP had submitted almost 40 testimonies of victims who were subjected to arbitrary detention and torture by security forces in Kashmir to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture,” it said.

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