A group of rights activists and organisations strongly condemned the National Investigation Agency’s raid against NGOs Human Welfare Foundation and Charity Alliance on Thursday in Delhi, saying “raids are nothing short of a brazen abuse of power by a central agency to bully and intimidate humanitarian organisations known for their work within the minority community.’
“Most recently these organisations were actively involved in providing relief to migrant labour during the lockdown and to victims of the Delhi riots,” a joint statement said while referring Human Welfare Foundation and Charity Alliance.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted the raids at two NGO’s in Delhi, Charity Alliance and Human Welfare Foundation in connection with Kashmir terror funding case.
The statement noted that the raids are the “part of the BJP’s well known strategy of creating a convenient ‘Muslim’ bogeyman to distract from real issues.”
By linking these organisations to raids carried out recently in Kashmir, the NIA is attempting to create unwarranted suspicion on the basis of guilt by association regarding both Human Welfare Foundation and Charity Alliance, the statement by prominent persons and groups said.
According to the statement, NIA’s raid targeting the Human Welfare Foundation was a continuation of the Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s recent statement about the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s work in Bihar. Naqvi’s statement was a transparent attempt to create communal polarisation in the state assembly elections, it added.
“Similarly, the raid on Charity Alliance was part of a concerted attack on Dr. Zafar ul Islam Khan, former Chairperson of the Delhi Minorities Commission.”
The statement pointed that Dr. Khan raised many uncomfortable questions regarding the conduct of government officials in his capacity as head of a statutory body, and the DMC under him also conducted a fact finding investigation into the Delhi riots that exposed major loopholes in the Delhi Police’s findings.
“These actions have made him a target of the central governments intimidation and scare tactics, and he is being continuously hounded in retribution for his work as head of the DMC,” the statement reads.
The groups and persons who signed the statement strongly condemed the BJP government’s scapegoating of Muslim voices whose only crime is asking legitimate questions and carrying out development, education, relief and rehabilitation for some of the poorest marginalized citizens of India.
They also demanded that the abuse of NIA and other central agencies in service of BJP’s election campaigns and communally divisive agenda must be immediately stopped.