PFI's Hyderabad office sealed; NIA arrests 45 in nationwide crackdown
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested 45 persons affilitated with the Popular Front of India (PFI) during a nationwide crackdown
NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested 45 persons affilitated with the Popular Front of India (PFI) during a nationwide crackdown. Coordinated searches were jointly conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), NIA and the State Police forces across India.
According to an NIA press release, searches were conducted at 93 locations of 15 states, namely, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.
These searches were conducted at the houses and offices of the top PFI leaders and members in connection with five cases registered by the NIA. The cases were registered, based on continued inputs and evidence that the PFI leaders and cadres were involved in funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations, the release said.
Meanwhile, in its crackdown in Hyderabad, the NIA sealed the Telangana PFI head office in Chandrayangutta in connection with a case registered earlier by the agency.
During the searches conducted across the country on Thursday morning, incriminating documents, cash, sharp-edged weapons and a large number of digital devices have been seized. Among the 45 arrested were 19 accused from Kerala, 11 from Tamil Nadu, seven from Karnataka, four from Andhra Pradesh, two from Rajasthan and one each from UP and Telangana.
The four persons arrested in Andhra Pradesh were identified as Abdul Rahim, Abdul Wahid Ali, Shaik Zafrulla and Riyaz Ahmed while the one detained in Telangana is Abdul Waris.
As on date, the NIA is investigating a total of 19 PFI related cases.
Two cases were earlier registered at Nizamabad PS, Telangana, against 25 PFI cadres on July 4, 2022 after the Telangana Police found that the accused were organizing camps for imparting training to commit violent and terrorist acts with the objective of promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, the release claimed.
"A large number of criminal cases have been registered by different states over the last few years against the PFI, including its leaders and members, for their involvement in many violent acts. Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI such as chopping off the hand of a college professor, cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing the other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to Islamic State (ISIS) and destruction of public property have had a demonstrative effect of striking terror in the minds of the citizens," the NIA stated in its press release.
Further investigations in these cases are in progress, the NIA added.