New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday continued searches in a terror funding case at nine locations in Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi. The agency also raided the properties linked to former Delhi Minority Commission chief Zafarul Islam Khan.
An NIA spokesperson in Delhi said that the consecutive second day raids were being held in connection with a case pertaining to some NGOs and Trusts 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 the union territory.
The official said that the agency carried out searches at nine locations on the premises of six NGOs and Trusts in Srinagar and Delhi.
Offices of the Falah-e-Aam Trust, Charity Alliance, Human Welfare Foundation, J&K Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement and J&K Voice of Victims (JKVoV) were being raided by the anti-terror probe agency sleuths.
According to NIA officials, Charity Alliance and Human Welfare Foundation are based in Delhi.
The office of Charity Alliance in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar was being searched by the agency’s personnel, an NIA official said.
Charity Alliance is headed by Zafarul Islam Khan, who is also the Editor of The Milli Gazette and former President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat and Managing Director, Pharos Media and Publishing Pvt. Ltd.
Zafarul Islam Khan has been in the news this year, after he was booked by the Delhi Police on May 2 on the charge of sedition over a statement on social media.
The official said that it raided the premises of JK Yateem Foundation at Srinagar and Kulgam, Salvation Movement at Srinagar, run by Zafar Akbar Bhat of Hurriyat Conference and a separatist hardline leader.
It also searched the offices of the Human Welfare Foundation at Delhi and Anantnag, which is headed by Shabir Ahmed Baba, Jammu and Kashmir Voice of Victims at Baramulla, run by Abdul Qadeer and Falah-e-Aam Trust at Budgam run by GM Bhat.
“During the searches, the NIA has seized several incriminating documents, electronic devices,” the official said.
According to NIA officials, the anti-terror probe agency’s actions are a part of its broader plan to choke the funding of the separatist groups.
On Wednesday, the NIA raided 11 locations in Srinagar and Bandipora in J&K and one location in Bengaluru.
The NIA has carried out searches at the residential and office premises of Khurram Parvez, who is co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society, his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bengaluru-based associate Swati Sheshadri, Parveena Ahanger, chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDPK) and offices of NGO Athrout and G.K. Trust.
The locations that were also targeted included the offices of English daily Greater Kashmir. According to NIA officials, its raids also focused on Greater Kashmir Trust, which was founded after the 2014 floods and is affiliated to GK Communications, which runs Greater Kashmir and the Urdu daily Kashmir Uzma.
The NIA also raided the premises of journalist Parvez Bukhari. The NIA described him as “an associate” of Matta.
The action comes in the wake of a fresh case registered by the NIA on October 8 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. This followed the receipt of credible information that certain NGOs and Trusts are collecting funds domestically and abroad through so-called donations and business contributions, etc. and are then utilising these funds for secessionist and terrorist activities in J&K.
After the NIA’s crackdown on separatist groups in Kashmir since May 2017 after it registered a case against several top separatist leaders, Pakistan’s ISI has been searching for ways and means to fund terror activities.
The NIA registered a case against members of Pakistan based banned terror organisations like Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and other separatist groups and leaders in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly raising, receiving, and collecting funds to fuel separatist and terrorist activities.
After a thorough investigation in the case, the NIA arrested many people including influential businessman Zahoor Ahmed Watali and prominent politician Sheikh Abdul Rashid alias “Rashid Engineer”.
The agency filed two charge sheets against Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, son-in-law of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and others.