Delhi court sends Kashmiri journalist to 10-day NIA custody

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday remanded Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj to 10 days in National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) case.

The NIA arrested Mehraj from Srinagar on Monday in connection with the NGO terror funding case, an official said on Tuesday.

He was produced in the Patiala House Courts when the NIA sought 12 days’ remand to question him.

The arrest follows comprehensive investigations into the case registered in October 2020.

“Irfan Mehraj was a close associate of Khurram Parvez and was working with his organisation, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS). Investigations revealed that the JKCCS was funding terror activities in the Valley and had also been in the propagation of a secessionist agenda in the Valley under the garb of protection of human rights,” the official said.

The involvement of some Valley-based NGOs, Trusts and Societies in the funding of terror-related activities was being probed in this case, the investigation agency said.

Some NGOs, both registered as well as unregistered, were noticed collecting funds domestically and abroad under the cover of doing charity and various welfare activities — including public health, education etc.

But some of these organisations have developed links with proscribed terrorist outfits, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), the official said.

The Editors Guild of India on Wednesday expressed concern over the use of the UAPA against journalists and urged the administration to respect democratic values and stop their harassment in the name of national security.

“According to reports, on the afternoon of March 20, Irfan was called by an investigator on his mobile phone and told to come for a few minutes to the local NIA office in Srinagar. Thereafter, he was arrested and subsequently shifted to Delhi,” the Guild said in a statement. (IANS)

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