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NIA raids offices of Greater Kashmir and ‘activist’ associated with NGO that called Amarnath Yatra ‘militarised pilgrimage’

According to the reports, a team of NIA, assisted with CRPF personnel, paramilitary forces and the JK police raided 10 locations in Srinagar city in connection with the terror-funding case.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out raids at multiple locations in Srinagar, including the office of Kashmir-based newspaper – ‘Greater Kashmir’. The NIA also raided the residence of ‘activist’ Khurram Parvez associated with J&K Coalition of Civil Society, his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta, and Swati Sheshadri; Parveena Ahanger, Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, NGO Athrout, and the Greater Kailash Trust.

According to the reports, a team of NIA, assisted with CRPF personnel, paramilitary forces and the JK police raided 10 locations in Srinagar city in connection with the terror-funding case.

The NIA also carried out raids at the offices of another dubious NGO called ‘Athrout’, a houseboat named ‘HB Hilton’ in the Dal Lake and on the residence of ‘activist’ Khurram Parvez. The NIA has registered a case to investigation into the allegations of fund-raising activities of the NGO, who are accused of using Hawala racket to fund terror in the Kashmir valley.

“This case was registered by NIA on 8/10/2020 u/s 120B, 124 A IPC and sections 17, 18, 22A, 22C, 38, 39 and 40 UA(P)A, 1967 on 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 utilizing these funds for secessionist and terrorist activities in J&K,” the agency said.

The NIA has also raided a location in Bengaluru in this connection. Several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized, the agency said.

Khuram Parvez called Amarnath Yatra ‘militarized pilgrimage’

One of the persons who has been raided by NIA on Wednesday is Khurram Parvez. Parvez is the founder of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which has a history of propagating anti-India narrative in Jammu and Kashmir. The website describes the organization as “a federation of human rights organisations and individuals working in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.”

Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), in collaboration with Bangalore based Equitable Tourism Options (Equations), had published a controversial report in 2017, titled “Amarnath Yatra: A Militarized Pilgrimage”. In the report, Parvez and other writers had attempted to further the narrative that the Amarnath Yatra is not religiously significant.

According to the writers, the Amarnath Yatra is not a religious event, rather was a manifestation of Hindutva nationalist movement. The report makes the insinuation that the Amarnath Yatra is not a religious but a political Yatra which the state supports to assert its domination on Kashmir.

The report had stated, “In the initial 140 years or so of the Yatra’s existence it seems to have stabilised and became a matter of routine, with not too much of an impact on the people of Kashmir. In 1985, with the resurgence of the Hindu right-wing and the Ram Janmabhoomi campaign, several shrines attracted the attention of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and especially, one of its subsidiary organisations, the Bajrang Dal, which were used to revive a fundamentalist form of Hinduism.”

Further, JKCCS is affiliated to Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations (CDRO), an organization we have reported on extensively in one of our research articles on anti-India organisations operating in the country.

The CDRO has People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Civil Liberties Committee, Andhra Pradesh (APCLC) and Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR) as its constituent organizations and has links with PUCL through its fraternal organization, PUDR and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). These organizations have a history of its members being arrested for various activities related to Naxalites as having mentioned in our report.

It is also pertinent to mention that a resolution was adopted on the 20th of April, 2013 at a public meeting organized by the JKCCS which recognized, “the people and territory of Jammu and Kashmir to be under occupation of the Indian State in denial of the peoples’ legitimate right of self-determination”.

Additionally, in 2016, Khurram Parvez was arrested from his home in Srinagar for being a “threat to peace in the Kashmir Valley”. He was later released after he was detained for 76 days.

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