New Delhi: The NIA has raided the office of Parveena Ahanger, co-founder and chairman of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) on Wednesday. The raid on the APDP is part of a larger project of the National Investigation Agency in which it has raided about ten offices and residences of human rights activists and journalists in Kashmir.Raids were conducted at various places including the offices of newspaper like Greater Kashmir and other NGOs. It is also reported that the residences of Khurram Parvez’s(co-ordinator of J&K Coalition of Civil Society) and his associates like Parvez Ahmad Bukhari, Parvez Ahmad Matta and Bengaluru-based Swati Sheshadri.
The NIA claims that the raids were part of an investigation into the funding for “secessionist and separatist activities”. Parveena Ahangar has strongly denied that charge and has said that they have been targeted for their work in exposing grave human rights abuses in Kashmir. In a statement the APDP has also laid out its sources of funding, and said that it does not receive any foreign funds. Parveena Ahanger is a well respected human rights activist and the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons is a world renowned and reputed organization . She has represented APDP’s cause in many overseas forums.
It is estimated that about10,000 cases of involuntary disappearances had taken place in Kashmir in the past twenty five years. Parveena says that the documents the NIA has now seized contain sensitive information about the victims and their families, and she fears that the same may be accessed by other agencies which may lead to adverse consequences and reprisal against victims and families who have testified and are pursuing justice.
NCHRO thinks that the misuse of these sensitive information may lead to more human rights violations in the valley. The Confederation strongly condemns these raids and demands that all the documents seized by the NIA authorities should be returned safely to the respective organizations immediately. The NIA should stop harassing human rights organisations and activists all over India. The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir (APDP) was co-founded in 1994 by Parveena Ahangar with the support of legal professionals and likeminded people to provide support and mobilize family members of missing persons in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir. Last month APDP submitted almost 40 testimonies of victims who were subjected to arbitrary detention and torture by security forces in Kashmir, to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. The offices of NGO “Athrout” and “GK Trust,” were also raided apparently in the name of crackdown of “ terror funding”. NCHRO condemns such measures of the BJP regime to stifle dissent in Jammu and Kashmir which will only add to the alienation people already have especially after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A.
The Confederation also demands that the suppression of dissent through the terrorising and witch hunt of activists and journalists to be stopped immediately.
29th Oct 2020