Protected witness disclosed PFI intentions to “wage war” against the government: NIA indictment

In his recorded statement before the magistrate, one of the NIA’s protected key witnesses, who was once a member of the core team of the Popular Front of India (PFI), claimed that all arrested members of the banned outfit were taught that in case of any disturbance from Pakistan, the Indian Army would be busy in the North, and with PFI’s training, they could capture South India and move towards the North, according to the chargesheet filed by the investigation agency in a Delhi court.

The chargesheet, filed against 19 senior leaders of PFI in connection with a criminal conspiracy to destabilise and dismember the country, alleges that under the guise of a socio-political movement, PFI was assembling a “highly motivated, trained, and secretive elite force to achieve its violent long-term goal of establishing Islamic rule in India by 2047.”

Twelve national executive councils (NEC) members, founding members, and senior executives of PFI were among the 19 individuals indicted by the NIA, which last year raided 39 PFI-affiliated locations and arrested hundreds of the organization’s officials. The NEC is the primary decision-making body of PFI.

In this case, the PFI as an organisation has also been charged. PFI chairman O M A Salam, vice chairman E M Abdul Rahiman, national secretary V P Nazaruddin, and NEC national general secretary Anees Ahmed are among those identified in the document.

In their indictment, the investigation officer (IO) stated that a thorough examination of protected witnesses revealed that the PFI had devised plans to achieve their long-term objective of establishing an Islamic Caliphate by overthrowing the democratically elected government through armed rebellion. “According to one of the protected witnesses, during Tharbiyath sessions held by the accused, it was stated that in the event of a disruption from Pakistan, the Indian Army would be busy in the North, and with PFI’s training, they would be able to seize the South and advance towards the North. This demonstrates PFI’s desire to wage war against India and destroy the democratically elected government, according to the indictment.

According to the chargesheet, “PFI was secretly recruiting troops and organising arms training across the country to form a militia prepared to wage war against the central authority.” “One of the primary components of their intended strategy was to identify prominent leaders of organisations that oppose PFI’s ideology, especially Hindu groups. They profiled them and planned to assassinate them with their hit squads/service teams in order to drive a gap between the communities.”

During its investigation, the NIA acquired footage from PFI’s official YouTube accounts and discovered that the accused NEC members could be seen clearly addressing big crowds. The chargesheet states, “They incited the mob to violence against members of a particular religious or political group by provoking them against the central government through erroneous interpretations of government policies and by inciting hatred against the entire state machinery, the High Courts, and the Supreme Court.”

“It was seen in one of the videos that OMA Salam was urging Muslims not to forget about the Babri Mosque issue and claimed that they did not even receive justice from the Supreme Court,” the National Investigation Agency (NIA) added. “By urging Muslims to continue fighting, he meant to inflame their religious sensibilities regarding a matter already decided by the country’s highest court,”

“NEC members of the PFI were implicated in organising funding for the organisation of armed training camps, the acquisition of weapons, and targeted assassinations. “Since the formation of the organisation in 2006, PFI cadres have been implicated in a series of killings and violent attacks around the country, including those of leaders of organisations with religious beliefs at odds with the PFI,” the NIA said in a statement.

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