Press Trust of india

NGO terror funding case: Court sends accused journalist Irfan Mehraj to 10-day NIA custody

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Program Coordinator of JKCCS arrested

New Delhi: A court here on Wednesday granted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) 10 days’ custody of a person arrested by the agency from Srinagar in connection with an ongoing investigation into an NGO terror funding case.

Irfan Mehraj, a journalist from Srinagar, is the first accused arrested following investigations into the “NGO terror funding case” registered in October 2020, the NIA said. He was a close associate of human rights activist Khurram Parvez and was working with his organisation, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS), it added.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma allowed 10 days of custodial interrogation of Mehraj on the federal agency’s plea of 12 days of custody.

After his arrest on Monday, the agency brought the accused to the national capital on a transit remand. It alleged that investigations have revealed the JKCCS was “funding terror activities and propagating a secessionist agenda in the Valley under the garb of protection of human rights”.

The NIA is probing the involvement of some Kashmir-based NGOs, Trusts and societies in the funding of terror-related activities.

The agency said some NGOs, both registered as well as unregistered, “have been collecting funds domestically and abroad under the cover of doing charity and various welfare activities, including public health and education.

“But some of these organisations have developed links with proscribed terrorist outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM),” NIA said.

Activist Parvez was arrested in November 2021 by the NIA and chargesheeted on May 13 next year, along with six others, for alleged anti-national activities, including collecting information regarding vital installations and deployment and movement of security forces, procuring official secret documents and passing the same to LeT handlers through encrypted communication channels for monetary consideration.

Meanwhile, following the first arrest made in the NGO Terror Funding Case on 20.03.2023, the National Investigation Agency arrested Khurram Parvez, the Program Coordinator of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) and Chairperson of Philippines based NGO Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) today.

A spokesman of NIA said in a statement issued today that investigations revealed that Khurram Parvez has been collecting funds under the garb of fighting for Human Rights, from various international entities/persons based abroad and channelizing those funds for funding terror activities in the Kashmir valley.

“He, along with his associates, was also propagating secessionist agenda through his various NGOs. Khurram Parvez has already been chargesheeted in another NIA case. He was formally arrested upon production in this case today,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said that the case relates to the terror funding of proscribed terrorist organisations, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, by certain NGOs, Trusts and societies based in the Valley. Investigations have revealed that Khurram Parvez and his associates raised 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 raised by them to publish anti-national and incriminating material to cause hatred and disaffection towards Government of India.

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