100 PFI leaders detained in 10-states; raids in largest-ever crackdowntext_fields
In a major crackdown against the Popular Front of India (PFI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at multiple locations in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and other states. Over 100 PFI members and people connected with them have been arrested by the ED, NIA, and state police in different cases.
The arrests have taken place in more than 10 states. The Home Ministry is also keeping a close eye on this operation. Two PFI members were also arrested from Lucknow, sources said.
In the "largest ever investigation to date", the searches are taking place at the premises of those allegedly involved in terror funding, organizing training camps, and radicalizing people to join proscribed organizations.
These searches are being conducted in the residential and official premises of persons involved in funding terrorism, organizing training camps and radicalizing people to join banned organizations.
The arrests were also made from Delhi's Shaheen Bagh and Ghazipur.
Assam Police also detained nine people linked with PFI across the state. A senior police official told ANI, "Last night Assam police and NIA jointly launched an operation in the Hatigaon area, Guwahati and detained 9 persons across the state linked with PFI."
More than 200 NIA officers and members of the raid team carried out the searches. Karnataka Police detained PFI and SDPI workers protesting against the NIA raid in Mangaluru.
The NIA and ED are conducting raids at the houses of PFI leaders, including the house of OMA Salam, PFI chairman in Manjeri, Malappuram district, and at PFI offices from midnight, sources told ANI. As the raids are underway, PFI workers have staged protest outside the house of OMA Salam in Malappuram.
"NIA and ED conducted raids in various offices of PFI in Kerala. Raids are happening across 50 locations and also at the leader's house", A Abdul Sattar, State General Secretary , PFI said.
"The latest example of atrocities is the midnight raid by central agencies NIA and ED in the houses of Popular Front leaders in the state. The raids are taking place at the houses of national, state, and local level leaders. The state committee office is also being raided. Strongly protest the fascist regime's moves to use agencies to silence dissenting voices," he added.
In Tamil Nadu, NIA officials have initiated raids in various locations in Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore, Thirunelveli, and Tenkasi and are conducting raids at properties related to PFI and SDPI.
Pyaz Ahmed, Cuddalore district head of PFI, and Madurai district Secretary Yasser Arafat are being questioned by NIA.
The Hindu also reported that a tense situation appeared to evolve in Kerala, with scores of PFI activities turning out in strength to protest the raids. The police have boosted their street presence to pre-empt any violence.
The activists raised slogans against the Central government and squatted on the road in front of PFI offices and homes of leaders where the raids were on.
The NIA website has not so far given any information about the raids.
In the past few days, the NIA has registered more than a dozen cases related to PFI links. According to NIA sources, in recent days, the agency has raided more than 100 places in connection with the PFI links in the country.