New Delhi, September 22: Tightening noose around terror funding organisation. the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted raids in more than 10 states and arrested over 100 activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) including PFI Chairman OMA Salam.
The raids on PFI-SDPI have been conducted on the basis of intensive investigations and data collection by the Intelligence Bureau. These raids took place mainly in Southern India, and are termed the largest-ever investigation process to date by the National Investigation Agency.
This was the second such action against PFI. Earlier, the NIA had raided 40 places in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh in connection with a PFI case.
According to an internal source, the searches took place at the homes of those suspected of funding terrorism, organising training camps, and radicalising people to join proscribed organisations.
Dozens of arrests have been made across the country, with the highest in Kerala (22) followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka (20 each), Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (9), Delhi (3), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry (3), Tamil Nadu (10), Uttar Pradesh (8) and Rajasthan (2). PFI chairman OMA Salam, Kerala state chief CP Mohammed Basheer, national secretary VP Nazarudheen and national council member Professor P Koya were taken into custody.
Following the raids, Union home minister Amit Shah is holding a meeting with the concerned enforcement and security chiefs to review the evidence collected and mull over the future course of action. The meeting is also being attended by national security advisor Ajit Doval.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Intelligence Bureau has set up six control rooms for the purpose and monitoring to avoid any ruckus created by the PFI.
PFI is accused of financing and fuelling the anti-citizenship act protests, 2020 Delhi riots. Recently, the MHA was made aware by the central agencies that PFI was covertly mobilizing funds through well-organized network in Gulf countries as a part of a criminal conspiracy.
The PFI connection also came to the fore in the murder of Karnataka BJP leader Praveen Nettru, which is also being probed by the NIA.The role of PFI in providing funding during the hijab controversy and recent protests is also being investigated.
For unreserved, PFI was launched in Kerala in 2006 after merging of 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.