Monday, October 2, 2023

Delhi court sends Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj to 10-day NIA custody in NGO terror funding case

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A local court on Wednesday granted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody of Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj for 10 days, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the NGO terror funding case of 2020, under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The national agency produced Mehraj before the Special NIA Judge at Patiala House Courts, seeking his custody for 12 days. However, the court remanded him to 10-day NIA custody.

NIA said in a statement that it arrested Mehraj from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday on the basis of comprehensive investigations into the NGO Terror funding case, which was registered in October, 2020. 

It said Mehraj was a close associate of Khurram Parvez and working with his organisation, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS). 

Investigation revealed that JKCCS was funding terror activities in the Valley and was also involved in propagation of the secessionist agenda under the garb of protection of human rights.

As per the national agency, Mehraj was a researcher with the JKCCS till March, 2022. Parvez was the coordinator of the rights group, which provided ‘material support’ to the protestors in Kashmir during the 2016 agitation. 

In its charge sheet, NIA claimed that Parvez, in the guise of human rights activities, was part of a larger conspiracy, wherein he recruited one Muneer Ahmad Kataria as Over Ground Worker (OGW) of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

However, it arrested Mehraj in a different case related to the activities of NGOs in the Valley. 

As per the national agency, some NGOs, both registered as well as un-registered, had come to its notice collecting funds domestically and abroad under the cover of doing charity and various welfare activities, including public health and education. 

It alleged that some of these organisations have developed links with proscribed terrorist organisations, such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

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