NIA raids NGOs, trusts in Kashmir, Delhi in connection with terror funding case: Officials

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Srinagar, Oct 29 (PTI) The National Investigation Agency (NIA), after choking the funding of separatists groups, is investigating registered and unregistered NGOs operating in and out of Jammu and Kashmir, and carried out fresh raids on some more organisations on Thursday for allegedly being used as modes for 'terror funding'.

For the second consecutive day, various teams of the NIA under the supervision of an Inspector General along with a Deputy Inspector General carried out searches at nine locations, including the national capital where one NGO 'Charity Alliance' headed by former chairman of Delhi Minority Commission Zafarul-Islam Khan was raided.

Among the nine locations raided by the NIA are premises of the Human Welfare Foundation in Anantnag headed by Shabir Ahmed Baba, Falah-e-Aam Trust, a subsidiary of banned Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islamia, JK Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement, and JK Voice of Victims, they said.

Some of these organisations are headed by hardline separatists including Zaffar Akbar of Hurriyat Conference.

The raids followed registration of a case on October 8 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on receiving 'credible information that certain NGOs and trusts are collecting funds domestically and abroad through so-called donations and business contributions' and then using them to fund terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

The NIA had on Wednesday searched 10 locations in the 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.

Those whose premises were searched include Khurram Parvez (coordinator of the J&K Coalition of Civil Society), his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bangalore-based associate Swati Sheshadri as well as Parveena Ahanger, chairperson of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP).

The offices of the NGO Athrout and GK Trust, owned by prominent English daily Greater Kashmir's Fayaz Kaloo, were also searched, the statement added.

The APDP issued a statement saying all information and material sought by the raiding team was provided to them. 'The team examined all documents relating to APDP's work. They subsequently seized several documents and some electronic devices. Ahanagar's (heading APDP) mobile phones were also seized.

'Serious concern over misuse of sensitive information, including names and addresses of victims present in documents seized from APDP and apprehension of reprisal against victims of human rights violations,' the statement said.

They alleged that the documents and devices seized by the NIA team contain details of the names, identities and incidents of human rights abuses by security personnel.

'There is a grave apprehension that the same may be accessed by other agencies, and/or lead to adverse consequences and reprisal against victims and families who have testified and are pursuing justice,' it said.

The statement further said the APDP neither receives foreign funding, nor engages in any illegal activities and the raid has no basis and only 'exposes the state's desperation to deter APDP from pursuing justice for hundreds of victims of human rights violations committed by state actors in Kashmir.' The NIA said certain so-called NGOs and Trusts were raising funds in India and abroad in the name of charitable activities and then using those funds for carrying out secessionist and separatist activities in JK.

After the NIA's crackdown on separatist groups in Kashmir, Pakistan's ISI has been searching for ways and means to fund terror activities, the anti-terror probe agency has claimed.

In May 2017, a case was registered by the NIA against members of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and other separatist groups and leaders in the state for allegedly raising, receiving and collecting funds to fuel separatist and terrorist activities, conspiracy to cause disruption in the Valley, and waging war against India.

After thorough investigation in the case, the NIA arrested many people including influential businessman Zahoor Ahemd Watali and prominent politician Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias 'Rashid Engineer'.

Two chargesheets were filed in the case which also included Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, the son-in-law of firebrand separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani; spokesman of moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shahid-ul-Islam; spokesman of the Geelani-led faction of Hurriyat Ayaz Akbar; and separatists Nayeem Khan, Bashir Bhat alias Peer Saifullah and Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal.

The NIA has also recorded confessional statements on the flow of money, especially from Pakistan, from four persons accused in a case related to the funding of 'terror activities' in Kashmir. The case led to a decrease in stone pelting incidents in the Valley, the agency said. PTI SKL RDM RDM