Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI—The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted raids at the offices of two NGOs in Delhi and four others in Kashmir valley, on allegations of them funding “terror and separatist activities” in Jammu and Kashmir.
Among the NGOs targeted in Delhi are Charity Alliance and Human Welfare Foundation (HWF). Those raided in Kashmir are Falah-e-Aam Trust, Srinagar, JK Yateem Foundation, Kupwara, Salvation Movement and JK Voice of Victims.
NIA in Delhi detained three office-bearers of HWF and one from the Charity Alliance. Their interrogations were going on at the Shaheen Bagh Police Station till the filing of the report. It is not immediately clear what kind of interrogations the NIA sleuths are conducting.
NIA is also reported to have seized mobiles phones of at least 30 employees of HWF, besides the office computers of HWF’s chief executive officer as also the accountant. The sleuths are also reported to have seized all papers and documents with regard to development projects of HWF all over the country.
One of the office-bearers of the HWF is above 70-year-old.
One of the HWF employees said that the NIA sleuths seized mobile phones of all HWF employees who entered the office.
The raid, according to employees began at around 8.30 am. According to locals, there were more than 20 sleuths accompanied with local police at the HWF office.
An official of HWF on grounds of anonymity said, “It is all politically motivated. HWF has nothing to do with terrorism or separatism anywhere in India”.
The official said that HWF had been carrying relief work all over the country. During Covid pandemic, it distributed food and other items to thousands of persons, irrespective of their religion during the lockdown. “We also rehabilitated hundreds of victims of Delhi northeast riots, by repairing and rebuilding their houses and shops and many of them happen to be Hindus”, the official said. It also gives scholarship to poor students in different parts of the country.
HWF, he said, has no offices in Jammu and Kashmir.
Charity Alliance is headed by Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, former chairman of the Delhi Minority Commission. According to sources, an accountant of the Charity Alliance was also taken for interrogation by NISA sleuths. Dr. Khan, however, could not be contacted despite several efforts.
The Delhi police had booked a case of sedition against Dr. Khan for a tweet in which he had hailed the Government of Kuwait over the latter “standing with India Muslims”.
Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan also visited the Shaheen Bagh Police Station in solidarity with HWF and Charity Alliance. He, however, did not give any statements to media.
Some mediapersons, including Republic TV and other TV channels, linked HWF with the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH). But the JIH, in a statement, refuted the Republic TV’s allegations. In a statement, the JIH said that “the Foundation (HWF) is a separate legal entity and there is no legal subordination or subsidiaryship of the Jamaat over the Foundation and news media is cautioned not to malign the image of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind”.
“Through this, we also want to convey that this deliberate attempt of maligning the name of the Jamaat by media houses is a matter of serious concern and we will take appropriate legal step if so advised”, the Jamaat statement said.