NEW DELHI: Under its drive of sending notices to farmer leaders, social crusaders, journalists, Sikh activists and transporters in the case registered under the charges of “sedition” and “anti-national” activities, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has not even spared the organizations active for providing humanitarian aid without considering grounds of religion, caste, colour, creed and ethnicity.
Volunteers of Khalsa Aid which is providing free food, accommodation and providing all other kind of facilities to the farmers agitating at the borders of Delhi against three contentious farm laws of India’s Central government, are also amongst the persons who have received notice of the NIA, wherein they are asked to appear before it at its headquarters at New Delhi.
The information was shared by Khalsa Aid founder and CEO Ravi Singh. He said Khalsa Aid India chapter’s director Amarpreet Singh, its Trustees and staff members have received notices of the NIA. He said questioning of some of these persons have finished, while that of some is pending.
“We are deeply concerned to learn of the summons being issued by the NIA to individuals involved in the farmers protest, ranging from bus drivers to union leaders all have been summoned to appear before the NIA, being investigated as being ‘anti-national’ and supporting terrorism. Our Khalsa Aid India team on the ground have also been summoned and are being questioned/investigated”, said a spokesperson of the international NGO in a statement.
He said, “There are genuine and legitimate concerns for the health and mental wellbeing of our Khalsa Aid team, along with interrogations which may not comply with international standards”.
“A large-scale indiscriminate NIA investigation of this nature against voluntary agencies, groups and individuals who provide humanitarian support is unprecedented in Indian history”, he said, adding, “We urge all international bodies and monitoring agencies to hold India to account on what appears on the face of it a politically motivated step”.
The statement further reads, “As an organisation we actively work to ensure transparency in our operations and work within guidelines and governance protocols of each country we work within. We are unable to provide any further details at this time until the matter is closed by the NIA”.
“Our team will cooperate and answer any queries raised by the NIA team; we will endeavor to keep our supporters updated on this matter”, it added.
Prior to this, a section of Indian media telecast programme branding Khalsa Aid as “terror” organization and disseminating that this organization was working to “disintegrate” the nation. Still, the Khalsa Aid functionaries are working day and night to facilitate agitating farmers during extreme chill.