The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a self-styled Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj in Srinagar on charges of terror funding.
Mehraj has been arrested for investigation by the NIA in a case pertaining to terror funding under FIR no RC-37/2020 which stands registered at NIA Delhi. Irfan was earlier questioned in the case and was formally arrested on Monday evening and shifted to Delhi by the NIA.
Irfan had previously worked closely as a researcher with Parvez Khurram who ran a so-called human rights organization Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society. Khurram Parvez was arrested in 2021 under the same FIR vide number 37/2020/NIA/DLI in a terror funding case and is currently behind bars.
According to sources the FIR was lodged in 2020 by the NIA after credible information was received by the Central Government that certain NGOs, Trusts and Societies, registered as well as unregistered organisations are collecting funds domestically and abroad through donations, business contributions etc. in the name of charity and various welfare activities such as public health, education etc. Some of these NGOs have links with proscribed terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) etc.”
“Further, funds collected by such NGOs, Trusts and Societies are sent to Jammu & Kashmir through various channels such as cash couriers, Hawala traders based in Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir and other parts of India to sustain the secessionist and terrorist activities in Kashmir Valley, as a part of a larger criminal conspiracy hatched by these NGOs, Trusts and Societies etc., prejudicial to the unity, integrity, sovereignty and security of India,” NIA said.
They further said these NGOs, Trusts and Societies and their members, by words and written means, publish anti-national and incriminating material to bring into hatred, contempt and disaffection towards the Government of India.
Irfan is a resident of Mehjoor Nagar, Srinagar and as per his Linkedin profile he claims to be an independent journalist and researcher based in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir (India). “My work has appeared in TRT World, Indian Express, The Caravan, Kashmir Life, Kashmir Reader, Greater Kashmir among others.” reads his LinkedIn profile.