Journalist Irfan Mehraj has been charged under the UAPA.
The National Investigation Agency yesterday arrested a journalist from Srinagar in connection with an investigation into an “NGO terror funding case”. Journalist Irfan Mehraj was booked under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and taken to Delhi, according to Kashmir media reports.
The NIA alleged Mehraj is a “close associate” of human rights activist Khurram Parvez and was “working” with Parvez’s J&K Coalition of Civil Societies. In a statement, the NIA said the coalition “was funding terror activities in the valley and had also been in propagation of secessionist agenda in the Valley under the garb of protection of human rights”.
According to UNI, Mehraj was formerly a researcher with the coalition.
Mehraj’s father told the Wire his son had been “on a story when the investigators called him on his mobile phone”. “They told him to come over to their office for five minutes. Later, we got to know that he had been arrested and was going to be shifted to Delhi on Tuesday,” he said.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned his arrest in a tweet.
Parvez had been arrested in November 2021 on charges of “terror funding” and “conspiracy”. The case relates to NGOs and trusts purportedly using funds for “secessionist and separatist” activities.