NIA arrests Kashmiri journalist Irfan Mehraj in terror-funding case, Mufti says misuse of "draconian UAPA"
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested Mehraj in a case related to militancy funding case
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested the founding editor of Wande magazine and senior editor at TwoCircles.net, Irfan Mehraj in terror funding case on Monday evening.
Mehraj has been arrested in terror funding case registered at NIA police station New Delhi. Human rights activist Khurram Parvez was arrested in the same case two years back in 2021, said sources.
Those who are in the know of the development said Mehraj has been shifted to Delhi. The NIA, however has not issued any statement in this regard, so far.
According to media reports, Mehraj has been arrested in case FIR no RC-37/2020 registered at NIA Delhi. Some reports claimed that Irfan has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by the probe agency.
According to reports, Mehraj has been accused of having links with proscribed terrorist organisation such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) in the FIR.
“Some of these NGOs have links with proscribed terrorist organisation 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,” the FIR summary said.
Irfan was questioned before the arrest, said sources.
Mehraj's arrested drew reactions from journalists on social media, raising questions on the status of the press freedom in Kashmir. Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti criticized the arrest and alleged that journalists are arrested for doing their duty by speaking the truth.
“While conmen are given a free run in Kashmir, journalists like Irfan Mehraj are arrested for doing their duty by speaking the truth. Draconian laws like UAPA are abused constantly to ensure that the process itself becomes the punishment,” Mufti said in a tweet.