Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out multiple raids in Kashmir, including the main office of widely circulated daily Greater Kashmir and the house of human rights activist Khurram Parvez.
An official said raids were conducted at 10 locations, including nine in Srinagar and one in Bandipora.
An official said besides the newspaper office and the house of the activist, the NIA teams also visited the offices of two NGOs in Hyderpora and Nawakadal, the house of a journalist, a houseboat owner and a Hurriyat activist.
Sources identified the Hurriyat activist as Muhammad Yousuf Sofi, a resident of Bandipora’s Brar village.
“The raids are on,” the official said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and ex-Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the raids. “The NIA raids on human rights activist Parvez and the Greater Kashmir office in Srinagar is yet another example of the Government of India’s vicious crackdown on freedom of expression and dissent. Sadly, the NIA has become BJP’s pet agency to intimidate and browbeat those who refuse to fall in line,” Ms. Mufti tweeted.
Kashmir Times editor Anuradha Bhasin said the raids on the Greater Kashmir office and Mr. Parvez’s house “are attempts to impose silence even on our whispers”. “This comes a day after the disempowering land laws. Can this be just a coincidence?” she tweeted.
The NIA has been investigating terror funding in J&K for the past several years and has arrested a number of Hurriyat leaders.
A NIA spokesman said those whose premises have been searched include residence and office of Khurram Parvez (co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society), his associates Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bengaluru-based associate Swati Sheshadri; Ms. Parveena Ahanger, Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons ( APDPK) and offices of NGO Athrout and Greater Kashmir Trust.
“Several incriminating documents and electronic devices have been seized. Further investigation in the case is continued,” the NIA said. (The Hindu)