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No let up in drive against terror funding in Kashmir, Khurram Parvez now joins many docked by NIA

NIA arrests Khurram Parvez in terror funding plot

The already detained coordinator of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS), Khurram Parvez, has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a terror funding case under investigation against several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and trusts operating in Jammu and Kashmir. His formal arrest by the NIA came a day after the Central agency arrested Srinagar-based journalist Irfan Mehraj and shifted him to Delhi.

NIA arrests Khurram Parvez in terror funding plot
NIA arrests Khurram Parvez in terror funding plot

“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,”the NIA spokesperson said in a media release.

“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, were also propagating secessionist agenda through his various NGOs. Khurram Parvez has already been charge sheeted in another NIA case. He was formally arrested upon production in this case today”, the NIA statement on Wednesday said.

“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 the Government of India”, added the statement issued in New Delhi.

Khurram Parvez has been in jail continuously since his arrest by the NIA on 22 November, 2021. Previously he had been arrested and released over a dozen times in 20 years for his alleged involvement in separatist activities. His organisations, JKCCS and AFAD, claimed to be working for protection of human rights in the Kashmir conflict, even as almost all of their reports and statements were selectively on the rights violations allegedly committed by the State agencies.

One of NIA’s own former officers, Superintendent of Police Arvind Digvijay Negi, was arrested in February 2022 and subsequently dismissed from service, after he was found to have leaked sensitive information to Khurram against whom he was investigating a case.

Arguably the most prominent face in the separatist intellectual ecosystem, Khurram happens to be a close relative of the JKCCS founder advocate Parvez Imroz who has ceased to be active for a long time. He is the recipient of over a dozen awards announced or given to him by international human rights groups. Two top functionaries of the United Nations (UN) are among a large number of human rights activists, academicians, mediapersons and retired officers of the Government of India who protested Khurram’s arrest and demanded his release in 2021-22.

For over 20 years of his activity, Khurram was free to travel to the whole world on the Indian passport. Officers investigating a case against him insist that when the authorities once decided to deny him renewal of passport, a recommendation in his favour came from the Raj Bhawan. He is known to have established a robust network of anti-India activists, across Europe and the United States of India. The investigators said that almost all of them are Kashmiri men and women pursuing fellowships and higher studies or working in different foreign countries.

Sources revealed that Khurram and his associates received funds through Philippine-based AFAD and used the same either for personal luxuries or for anti-India campaigning. They said that he and his JKCCS had purchased four kanals of land near Narbal crossing for raising a memorial for the terrorists and civilians killed in encounters. Sources said that a process was underway for attachment of this property and other assets of the JKCCS.

During the Lok Sabha elections on 20 April, 2004, Khurram was critically injured in an IED blast that ripped his vehicle near Sogam in Kupwara. He survived with amputation of one leg but his associate, journalist-turned-human rights activist Asiya Jeelani got killed. Both working for JKCCS, Khurram and Asiya were on an ‘election monitoring project’ which, according to officials, was used by Pakistan to discredit the Indian elections and democracy all over the world.

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