Following searches on 56 locations connected to activists and regional leaders of the outlawed organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) on Thursday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) detained an advocate from Kerala on Friday.
The PFI’s martial arts and hit squad’s member and trainer, named as Mohammed Mubarak, a native of Edavanakkad in the Ernakulam district, according to an official statement from the NIA. It claimed that the squad was raising and training gangs to attack community leaders in other areas.
Mubarak, a practising attorney at the Kerala High Court, was detained following the continuing campaign against the illegal group. He is the 14th PFI activist from Kerala to be detained during the September searches.
He was brought before the NIA special court in Kochi, where he was given a 14-day remand. The investigative agency will request his custody in a court motion.
The NIA claims that during the operation, a number of weapons were found in Mubarak’s home, including axes and swords that were hidden in a badminton racket bag. He had previously contributed actively to the PFI and had just begun teaching martial arts.
The PFI had compiled a list of other community leaders who would be targeted, the NIA had earlier informed the court. The central agency said earlier this month that the outlawed organisation had a “hidden wing of reporters to collect details of leaders of other groups and compile a list of targets” in testimony to the special court in Kochi.
The agency had revealed the PFI in an affidavit filed in court asking for an extension of the court’s jurisdiction over 11 of the organization’s leaders who had been detained in Kerala during the final week of September as part of a nationwide search of its offices and against its employees.