New Delhi: In another major crackdown on the Popular Front of India, police along with other investigative agencies conducted raids across several states on Monday. The raids are underway in Assam, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
In state-wide raids in Karnataka, more than 75 PFI workers of its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and leaders were taken into preventive custody, informed a police official. ‘Over 75 PFI and SDPI workers and leaders have been taken into preventive custody, including the SDPI Yadgiri district president. The police raids are underway across the state. The cases have been booked under sections 108, 151 CrPC’, said Alok Kumar, ADGP Law and Order, Bengaluru.
The police conducted raids in Devanahalli, Bengaluru Rural, Chikkaballapur, Chitradurga, Raichur, Hassan, Bellary, Bagalkot, Koppal and other districts in the state. Alok Kumar ADGP, Bengaluru said that Mohmad Ismail, Raichur District ex-President of the PFI was also arrested and sent to judicial custody. Three PFI leaders were taken into custody in Mysore while two leaders have been taken into custody in Chamarajanagar. Eight PFI leaders have been taken into custody including the district president in Mangalore. Four people from Hoskote, three from Chickaballapur and nine from Bengaluru rural have been taken into custody.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state’s ATS and the UP Special Task Force took more than a dozen PFI leaders into custody in raids across the state, informed police sources. Crackdown on the Popular Front of India continued in Maharashtra as the ATS and local police conducted raids in various parts of the state and arrested various persons linked with the organisation. ‘Raids by ATS and local police are underway on people associated with PFI in many parts of the state’, said the ATS. The Thane Police informed that its crime branch has arrested four people associated with PFI.
The Nashik Police also arrested two persons linked with the organisation. Both the arrested persons will be produced before the court later today. One of the two persons, identified as Mohammed Irfan who, according to the Nashik Police, was earlier booked for holding an illegal rally in May this year. According to local police, there were inputs against some persons, who are connected to PFI, were involved in illegal activities. Raids are underway in Malegaon town also.
Today’s raids were in continuation of the crackdown started by the NIA and ED against the PFI on September 22. The NIA had arrested over 106 members of the PFI during its largest-ever raids spread across 15 states. Searches were conducted at multiple locations in the largest ever investigation process till date.
The operation started late in the night around 1 am and learnt to be concluded by 5 am involving over 1,500 personnel of state police, Central Armed Police Forces and officers of NIA and ED. Several incriminating documents, more than 100 mobile phones, laptops and other materials have been seized by the raiding teams. These searches were conducted at the residential and official premises of persons involved in ‘funding terrorism, organising training camps and radicalising people to join proscribed organisations.
The PFI was launched in Kerala in 2006 after merging three Muslim organizations floated after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 – the National Development Front of Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Manitha Neethi Pasari of Tamil Nadu. After the demolition of the Babri mosque, many fringe outfits had surfaced in south India and PFI was formed after merging some of them.