NIA Arrests Kashmiri Journalist Irfan Mehraj

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“While conmen are given a free run in Kashmir, journalists like Irfan Mehraj are arrested for doing their duty by speaking the truth,"  said Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Kashmiri journalist, Irfan Mehraj, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from his Srinagar residence at Mehjoor Nagar on Monday night, reports reaching here said.

Mehraj, the senior editor at TwoCircles.net, a non-profit news-delivering digital platform, was arrested for “investigation” under FIR No. RC-37/2020 registered at NIA Delhi for an alleged case of terror funding. It is the same FIR under which human rights defender, Khurram Parvez, was arrested and has been languishing in jail since 2021.

Before TwoCircles.net, Mehraj was associated with JKCCS, a confederation of human rights organisations & individuals working in Jammu and Kashmir.

He is also a founding editor of Wande Magazine. It is an online literary, cultural magazine of long-form writing of all things Kashmiri.

Kashmir dot com quoted its sources as claiming that Mehraj was arrested after “credible information was received by the Central Government that certain NGOs, trusts, and societies, registered as well as unregistered, are collecting funds domestically and abroad through donations, business contributions, etc. in the name of charity and various welfare activities such as public health, education, etc. Some of these NGOs have links with proscribed terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), etc.”

Mehraj was subjected to sustained interrogation several times in the last few years. His laptop and belongings were also confiscated.

On Monday, Mehraj was arrested by NIA and moved to Delhi, journalist Raqib Hameed Naik tweeted.

Criticising the arrest, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and JKPDP’s President Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter and wrote: “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”.

Mehraj’s stories and news reports have appeared in several national and international news publications including Al Jazeera and Deutsche Welle News.

(Developing story)

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