Kashmiri human rights activist Khurram Parvez arrested by NIA

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Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday evening arrested prominent human rights activist Khurram Parvez after raiding his residence and office in Srinagar earlier in the day.

Parvez has been booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and other multiple charges.

According to the arrest memo, a copy of which is in the possession of The Kashmir Walla, the sections that have been invoked against Khurram include 120B, 121 and 121A of IPC and sections 17, 18, 18B, 38 and 40 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act, 1967.

As per the arrest memo, the arrest of Khurram has been made under the supervision of G Siva Vikram Superintendent of Police (SP) NIA. The witnesses during the arrest include Suhail Ahmad Mir, Patwari Assistant Commissioner Nazool and Patwari Deputy Commissioner Nazool office.

According to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 120B is a punishment for criminal conspiracy.  121 is a waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India (GoI), while 121A conspiracy to commit offences punishable by section 121.

Similarly, section 17 of UAPA is a punishment for raising funds for terrorist act.  Section 18 is a punishment for conspiracy, while 18B is punishment for recruiting any person or persons for terrorist act.

Section 38 of UAPA is an offence relating to membership of a terrorist organization, while section 40 is an offence of raising funds for a terrorist organization.

Family sources told The Kashmir Walla that the NIA officials carried out searches at the residence of Parvez at Sonwar area and office at Amira Kadal before taking him along for questioning to the NIA office at Church Lane in Dalgate.

 The probing agency was assisted by the local police and paramilitary personnel.

“At around 12 pm, the NIA team visited the house and office and confiscated Khurram’s phone, laptop and other material,” the family source said.

Sources said after completing the search operation, Parvez was called for questioning at the NIA office in the afternoon.

“At around 6 pm, the family received the call to bring his [Khurram’s] clothes. So, his wife along with her son visited the place and handed over the clothes to the officials there,” they said.

The family has been handed over the arrest memo under the case number 30/2021 of Parvez and is likely to be flown to New Delhi on Tuesday.

In October 2020, NIA conducted the raids at several locations in the valley including Parvez’s residence and office.

In 2016, Parvez was slapped with the Public Safety Act (PSA). His arrest had come a day 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.

Parvez is the chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and the programme coordinator of JKCCS. He had lost his leg in a landmine while monitoring the 2004 Parliamentary elections.

The NIA has not, however, issued any official statement on his arrest.

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