- Raid on 93 locations of PFI led by NIA
- 106 PFI leaders and activists arrested
- Allegedly involved in financing terrorism
PFI Terror Funding Case: Multiple agencies led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted simultaneous raids at 93 places in 15 states and arrested 106 leaders and activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI), allegedly involved in financing terrorism in the country. did. Officials gave this information. Officials said that the maximum number of 22 PFI activists were arrested in Kerala. Its president OMA Salam was also among those arrested, he said. Officials termed it the “biggest operation ever” against the PFI.
Highest arrests from Kerala
Officials said the arrests were made by the NIA, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the police forces of the respective states. He said that the 15 states where these raids have been conducted at 93 places include Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur. Are included. Officials said the maximum number of arrests were made in Kerala (22). Apart from this, Maharashtra (20), Karnataka (20), Tamil Nadu (10), Assam (9), Uttar Pradesh (8), Andhra Pradesh (5), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry (3), Delhi (3) and Arrests were made in Rajasthan (2). He said that the raids started at 3:30 am and involved a total of 300 NIA officers from different offices across the country.
Security personnel keep vigil outside the Popular Front of India (PFI) party office in Bengaluru
Radttoad red in terror funding cases
According to officials, the raids were conducted at the premises of persons allegedly involved in providing funds, arranging training for them and tricking people to join proscribed organisations. The NIA team seized documents, literature, computers, laptops and phones, he said. NIA is probing a total of 19 cases related to PFI. The NIA said the violent acts allegedly committed by the PFI such as chopping off the hand of a college professor in Kerala in 2010 and the ruthless killings of persons belonging to organizations of other religions had a deep impact on creating terror in the minds of citizens. Is kept. Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting on Thursday. The meeting is understood to have discussed the raids being carried out in the premises of PFI and action taken against terror suspects.
Tomorrow PFI will strike in Kerala in protest
Top officials including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta attended the high-level meeting, officials said. Meanwhile, the PFI has called for a strike in Kerala on September 23 to protest the raids on its offices, leaders’ homes and other premises by various agencies led by the NIA. PFI state general secretary A Abdul Sattar said, “The state will go on strike on September 23 against the attempt by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-controlled fascist government to suppress the voice of dissent by using central agencies.” Said that the strike would be held from 6 am to 6 pm. The Kerala unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, termed the proposed strike as “unnecessary” and urged the state government to take strict action against it.
Activists of Popular Front of India (PFI) block Kazhakootam – Kovalam bypass
“Zero tolerance policy towards communalism”
On the other hand, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that all forms of communalism should be fought, wherever it comes from and there should be a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards it. Gandhi, in response to a question asked at a press conference in Kochi regarding the nationwide raids on PFI offices and homes of PFI leaders by the NIA and other agencies, said, “All forms of communalism should be fought, wherever it may come from.” Are. There should be a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ towards communalism and it should be countered.
Two chargesheets against PFI and office bearers
The ED has been accused of conspiracy in connection with the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in the country, inciting the Delhi riots in February 2020, the alleged gang-rape and death of a Dalit woman in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh and some other charges. The PFI is probing the alleged ‘financial links’. The probe agency has filed two chargesheets against the PFI and its office bearers in the special court of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Lucknow. The ED had filed its first FIR in February last year against the PFI and its student wing Campus Front of India (CFI) on money laundering charges. He had claimed that the PFI members wanted to “incite communal riots and create an atmosphere of terror” after the alleged gang rape case of Hathras.
General Secretary of PFI Anis Ahmed (second, right) being produced to Patiala Court after a nationwide raid spearheaded by the NIA
Funding was coming from UAE hotels
The people named in the charge sheet are National General Secretary of PFI’s student wing CFI and PFI member KA Rauf Sharif, CFI National Treasurer Atikur Rahman, CFI’s Delhi unit General Secretary Masood Ahmed, PFI journalist Siddiqui Kappan. and Mohammad Alam, another member of the CFI/PFI. In the second chargesheet filed by the ED this year, the ED had claimed that a hotel located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had become a “vehicle” of money laundering for the PFI.
20 activists also arrested from Maharashtra
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Thursday arrested 20 PFI activists from the state. In Maharashtra, various ATS teams conducted raids in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Aurangabad, Pune, Kolhapur, Beed, Parbhani, Nanded, Malegaon (Nashik district) and Jalgaon, an official said. He said that the ATS has registered four cases in Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nanded under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The NIA raided the offices of PFI in Karnataka and the premises attached to its office bearers.
Muslim youth tried to obstruct the action
According to official sources, the raids began in the early hours and raids were conducted at over 12 places in Bengaluru, Dakshina Kannada’s district headquarters Mangaluru, Uttara Kannada’s Sirsi and Kalaburagi. During the raids on the offices, several Muslim youths reached there and raised slogans of “NIA go back”. These people also tried to obstruct the raid. The police took these people into custody as a precaution.