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NIA makes first arrest in NGO terror funding case; Kashmiri journalist arrested

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SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a close associate of a human rights activist in connection with its ongoing investigation into an NGO terror funding case, an official said on Tuesday.
Irfan Mehraj, a resident of Srinagar, was the first accused arrested following comprehensive investigations into the NGO terror funding case registered in October 2020, a spokesperson of NIA said.
Srinagar-based freelance journalist Irfan Mehraj, who has contributed to various national and international news organizations, was arrested by NIA on specific inputs.
“Mehraj was a close associate of (human rights activist) Khurram Parvez and was working with his organisation, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS),” he said.
The agency alleged that the investigation revealed that the JKCCS was funding terror activities and had also been propagating a secessionist agenda in the Valley under the garb of the protection of human rights.
“Involvement of some Valley-based NGOs, Trusts and Societies in funding of terror-related activities is being probed in this case,” the spokesperson said.
The official said some NGOs, both registered as well as unregistered, have been noticed 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 organisations, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM),” the spokesperson said.
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.

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