Arrested human rights activist flown to Delhi, met family in morning

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A day after being arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), prominent human rights activist Khurram Parvez was flown to New Delhi on Tuesday after meeting his family in the morning in Srinagar.

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

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Parvez’s wife, Sameena Mir said that they met Parvez at 11:30 am on Tuesday at the NIA office in Church Lane, Srinagar.

Apart from his wife, the other family members that met Parvez include his two children, mother and brother.

“We handed over some clothes to him. He [Parvez] told us that he was medically examined and authorities will ask for his transit remand before taking him to New Delhi,” Sameena said. “The family would be fighting the case legally and have hired a lawyer in New Delhi.”

A short while ago, Parvez’s brother Sheikh Sheriyar told The Kashmir Walla that Parvez was flown to New Delhi in the last flight of the day.

The family said on Monday morning the NIA sleuths raided his office and residential place and in the afternoon, he was taken along for questioning.

“During the search operation, they [NIA] only asked Parvez about his body of work. After searching the house around 1 pm, he was taken along to the NIA office for further questioning,” the family said.

According to the arrest memo, the sections that have been invoked against Parvez include 120B, 121 and 121A of IPC and sections 17, 18, 18B, 38 and 40 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act, 1967.

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 acts. 

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.

Meanwhile, national and international rights bodies and activists, including the United Nations Special Rapporteur, have reacted sharply to the arrest of Parvez demanding his immediate release.

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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