SRINAGAR: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said the arrest of human right activist Khurram Parvez was made after he was found to be in touch with some of the over ground workers (OGWs) of the Pakistan-based terror organisations.
According to the agency, Parvez was arrested after the anti-terror probe agency carried out searches at his residence in Sonwar and his office in Srinagar here on Monday. The agency sleuths along with the J&K Police and the CRPF jointly carried out these searches in Srinagar, following which he was put under arrest on Monday evening. Besides J&K, the agency also carried out searches in Himachal Pradesh. However, the official remained tightlipped on the details of the search locations.
According to a senior NIA official in New Delhi, Parvez was allegedly found to be in touch with the Pak-based terrorist organisation, Lashkar-e-Taiba. He was arrested in connection with a new case registered by the agency on November 6 this year.
The NIA have charged Parvez under various sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, including “criminal conspiracy”, “attempt to wage war against the government” and for “raising funds for terrorist acts and a terrorist organisation”. “More searches and arrests are likely to be made in the coming days,” the official said.
Citing his past brushups with the NIA, the source said:
The NIA had carried out searches at his office and residential premises in October 2020. At that time, the agency did not find much evidence of his association with the Pak-based terror organisations. Thus he was let free
Parvez has long been a vocal critic of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government. He has been on the NIA radar for long as his premises were raided by the anti-terror probe agency in October 2020, besides other locations. In 2016, after the killing of Hizabul Mujahideen terrorist, Burhan Wani, Parvez was slapped with the Public Safety Act (PSA). He was also arrested after he was barred from travelling to Switzerland to participate in a session of the UN Human Rights Council. He was released after 76 days of prison during the then Mehbooba Mufti-led government in the erstwhile state.
Parvez’s Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) has earlier published several reports on human rights violations and excesses committed by security forces in the Kashmir Valley. He is also the chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (Afad), an international rights organization which looks into the forced disappearances in Kashmir and elsewhere in Asia.
Meanwhile, Parvez’s arrest has caused massive uproar in the civil society and international circles. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, said that she was disturbed to hear about Parvez’s arrest.
“I’m hearing disturbing reports that Khurram Parvez was arrested today in Kashmir and is at risk of being charged by authorities in India with terrorism-related crimes. He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender,” she tweeted on Monday night.
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