New Delhi: National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate officials raided homes and offices of Popular Front of India (PFI), Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) executives in 15 states including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. Yesterday, 45 people, including the administrators of the organization, were arrested after the raid was conducted from midnight to dawn.
The National Development Fund which was operating in Kerala, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity from Karnataka and the Human Justice Basarai from Tamil Nadu started the Popular Front of India in November 2006.
Headquartered in Delhi, PFI has branches in 24 states. The BFI has been accused of involvement in the 2010 beheading of Professor Joseph in Kerala, Shaheen Bagh protest in Delhi, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Saharanpur riots in Uttar Pradesh, Hijab riots in Karnataka, Kannaiya Lal murder in Udaipur, Rajasthan and various murder cases in Kerala, Karnataka. Only in Jharkhand has the BFI system been banned.
When Prime Minister Modi visited Bihar capital Patna last July, 3 terrorists were arrested for planning to kill him. Investigation revealed that they had links with the PFI organization.
Subsequently, NIA officials raided the houses and offices of BFI executives in Patna. Then various important documents got stuck. Further, investigation revealed that arms training was given to Muslim youths from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states in Patna.
Similarly, Abdul Qader and others were arrested last July for providing weapons training to Muslim youths in Nizamabad, Telangana. NIA is also investigating this case. In this regard, raids were conducted at 40 places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
At the beginning of this year, PFI executives Abdul Razak and Ashraf from Munnar, Kerala were found to have defrauded Rs 22 crore. The Enforcement Directorate is investigating the case. Investigation revealed that the BFI was receiving funding from foreign terrorist organizations. Similarly, various allegations were leveled against the STBI executives.
More than 300 officers
In this case, at midnight yesterday, more than 300 officers from the NIA and the enforcement department, divided into various groups, conducted a surprise raid in 15 states.
Simultaneous raids were conducted at the homes and offices of BFI and STBI executives in the capitals and major cities of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Manipur and Goa.
Also, more than 200 people were questioned and about 200 cell phones and 100 laptops were examined. Apart from this, bank accounts and documents were also examined.
During this raid, NIA officials said that they have arrested 45 people including Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mohammad Yusuf and Ismail from Tamil Nadu.
Total shutdown in Kerala today
BFI Kerala State General Secretary Abdul Sattar said, “The central government is working under the control of the RSS. Central intelligence agencies are launched against minority organizations. Condemning this in Kerala on Sept. A complete blockade will be held on the 23rd (today),” he said.
Various protests were held yesterday in Kerala, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and other states against the NIA raid.
Test in Tamil Nadu
A large number of documents were seized during the search conducted at the BFI head office in Purasaivakam, Chennai.
NIA officials visited the house of A.S. Ismail (43), a member of the national executive committee of PFI, Karumpukkadai Chaugar, Coimbatore and interrogated him and his family. They searched the entire house for money exchange, exchange of suspicious information and documents. Later, Ismail was flown from Coimbatore to Delhi for questioning.
PFI Karnataka State Secretary Sadiq Mohammed along with his assistant was traveling from Malappuram via Coimbatore to Bengaluru by train yesterday morning. NIA officials caught the duo at the Coimbatore railway station and interrogated them, then released the aide and took Sadiq Mukha Madhu with them to Delhi by air.
The house of PFI Cuddalore District President Zakir Hussain is in Zakir Hussain Nagar near Kattumannarkovil. The NIA officials who conducted the search there also confiscated his laptop and cell phones. Later, the authorities took Zakir Hussain for questioning.
The NIA officials also raided the residences of Puducherry STPI State Vice President Mohammad Bilal at Thomas Arul Road, Karaikal, Hasan Kuddoos at Kamarajar Road and STPI Administrator Pakrudeen at Tirumalairayanpatnam area.
Later, the three were taken for questioning. Earlier, officials reportedly seized pen drives, laptops and documents from their homes.
The NIA officials also raided the Madrasa College for Girls at Virakam at Meenakshipuram near Airwadi in Tirunelveli district.
Why the midnight test?
Regarding the raid, NIA sources said, “When we already raided the houses and offices of the PFI executives, the people from the organization took part in protests. Due to this, law and order problems arose. To avoid this, we started the raid at midnight. We had decided a week before where to raid and who to interrogate. In some cities, the raid lasted till morning.
Based on the evidence, we have arrested 45 people. We are planning to take them into custody and interrogate them,” he said.
Amit Shah Senior Advisor
In this case, a high-level meeting was held yesterday in Delhi under the leadership of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. In this, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, NIA Director Dinakar Gupta and senior officials of the Enforcement Directorate participated.
The documents seized during the raid, foreign terrorist links and proceedings were discussed in this meeting.