Twitter on Monday erupted with anger after the National Investigation Agency on Monday arrested a prominent Kashmiri human rights activist and charged him under the draconian UAPA. Khurram Parvez was arrested after the NIA raided his house in a terror funding case. Curiously, the arrest of a prominent Kashmiri human rights activist came just days after the Indian security forces faced global condemnation for killing three civilians including one businessman, Mohammad Altaf Bhat in Srinagar.
According to reports, Parvez has been booked under 120B, 121 and 121A of IPC and sections 17, 18, 18B, 38 and 40 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act, 1967.
Section 121A deals with ‘waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India.’ “Whoever within or without [India] conspires to commit any of the offences punishable by section 121, or conspires to overawe, by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force, [the Central Government or any [State] Government], shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description which may extend to ten years, [and shall also be liable to fine],” the law states.
No sooner did the news of Parvez’s arrest emerge, Twitterati including human rights activists and journalists erupted in anger.
Release Khurram Parvez https://t.co/k9RXDTQVpD
— Anuradha Bhasin (@AnuradhaBhasin_) November 22, 2021
#KhurramParvez of JKCCS has reportedly been arrested. JKCCS is the 2017 recipient of the @RaftoFoundation award. He should be immediately and unconditionally released. Cc @MaryLawlorhrds @ihrb @KenRoth @AgnesCallamard @ettrick49 @FrontLineHRD https://t.co/BIrZQ2eAO4
— saliltripathi (@saliltripathi) November 22, 2021
Khurram Parvez lost one his legs in an unfortunate incident in the early 2000. His leg had to be amputated. His body of work on the situation of human rights in J&K is unparalleled. Well-known for for his humility, integrity and professionalism, Parvez is a figure of int’ repute! https://t.co/srQrBrR1Wn pic.twitter.com/yOKgRhma3J
— Gowhar Geelani (@GowharGeelani) November 22, 2021
I’m hearing disturbing reports that Khurram Parvez was arrested today in Kashmir & is at risk of being charged by authorities in #India with terrorism-related crimes. He’s not a terrorist, he’s a Human Rights Defender @mujmash @RaftoFoundation @GargiRawat @NihaMasih pic.twitter.com/9dmZOrSwMY
— Mary Lawlor UN Special Rapporteur HRDs (@MaryLawlorhrds) November 22, 2021
Angry & saddened to learn that Khurram Parvez, a longtime human rights defender in Kashmir, has been arrested & charged with terrorism related offenses.
He’s been on the frontlines for years documenting atrocities by the Indian government. He must be freed & all charges dropped.
— Arjun Sethi (@arjunsethi81) November 22, 2021
if, as reported, @KhurramParvez has been arrested by #India's 'counter-terrorism' NIA, it's yet another extraordinary abuse in #Kashmir. https://t.co/9hZDrNI4iU
— David Kaye (@davidakaye) November 22, 2021
Khurram Parvez and @jkccs_ are leading human rights defenders in Kashmir. They have done quiet work in grim circumstances. The NIA raid on JKCCS & arrest of Khurram are an attempt by the Modi regime to gag those witnessing & documenting the unrelenting rights violations in J&K.
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) November 22, 2021
The UAPA is being repeatedly misused to punish human rights activists or others that protest abuses. Authorities should end repressive policies in #Kashmir, and hold to account those responsible for rights violations instead of targeting rights defenders https://t.co/U0Kz3zMiD4
— meenakshi ganguly (@mg2411) November 22, 2021
The NIA officials reportedly raided Parvez’s house in the Sonwar area and office in Amira Kadal area of Srinagar before arresting him.
Last year in October, the NIA had raided his house and office in Kashmir.
Parvez’s arrest comes days after the Indian security forces killed three civilians in Srinagar. The videos of the relatives of those killed had gone viral. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had announced a magisterial inquiry promising to deliver justice to the grieving family. The victims had included businessman Mohammad Altaf Bhat, whose 13-year-old daughter had accused the Indian security forces of ‘shamelessly laughing’ when she questioned them for killing her father.