The multi-agency operation was launched by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Law enforcement agencies conducted searches across the nation on Thursday. They also arrested 106 employees from the Popular Front of India (PFI) which includes its president O M A Salam, in connection with their alleged involvement in terrorist actions.
Officials stated that the searches were conducted nearly all at once in 15 states, conducted through police forces from the NIA, Enforcement Directorate, and state police forces.
Of the 106 people arrested 45 of them have been detained at the NIA. The NIA has held at least 18 of those 45 of them, including Salam detained in various police stations in Delhi. The 18 were arraigned before the Patiala House Court which sent the accused to police custody for four days.
The NIA According to sources, the NIA is seeking to investigate the 18 about their leader’s information about the cash trail, the recovery of explosives, and weapons.
Sources claimed the search was conducted in 93 locations across 15 states, including 39 locations in Kerala and sixteen in Tamil Nadu, 12 in Karnataka seven within Andhra Pradesh, 4 each in Rajasthan and Maharashtra 2 within Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, one for each of Telangana, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar, and Manipur.
In a statement, NIA declared, “These searches were conducted in the offices and homes of the most powerful PFI members and leaders in connection to five cases that were uncovered by the NIA in the wake of ongoing inputs and evidence that PFI members and leaders were involved in the funding of terrorist as well as terrorist-related activities. as well as organizing training camps that provided trained in armed combat and influencing individuals to join banned groups.”
Sources told us that the warrants were issued the 20th of September. The NIA is currently investigating more than twelve PFI-related cases.
The NIA statement stated that a significant number of criminal charges have been filed by various states in the past few years against the PFI as well as its leaders and members for their participation in a variety of violent crimes.
“Criminal violent crimes carried out by PFI including cutting off the hands of a professor in a college classroom as well as cold-blooded executions of individuals who belong to organizations that adhere to different religions, the collection of explosives that target notable locations and people, and aid to Islamic State and destruction of public property have had the demonstrative impact of provoking terror within the minds of people of the country,” it stated.
(A PTI report said the highest number of arrests occurred within Kerala (22) then Maharashtra as well as Karnataka (20 Each), Tamil Nadu (10), Assam (9), Uttar Pradesh (8), Andhra Pradesh (5), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry and Delhi (3 each) and Rajasthan (2).
The news agency quoted officials saying that the Union home minister Amit Shah attended an interview where searches of premises connected with the PFI and actions against terrorist suspects were reported to be discussed.
The National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor Ajit Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta were among the highest officials that attended the event.)
An announcement that was released by the PFI frequently in the hands of law enforcement agencies of encouraging radical Islam and terrorism, stated “The raids are currently taking place in the residences of the local, state and national PFI leaders.” PFI. The office of the state committee is also under investigation.” The PFI criticized the state’s “move to deploy agencies to silence dissident voices”.
Then, in Karnataka, NIA sources said that the search was conducted at the homes of PFI state president Nazeer Pasha secretary Afzar Pasha, PFI leaders A K Ashraf, Sharif Bajpe, Nawaz Kaavoor and various PFI offices.
Following the search, a number of PFI employees held a protest and accused the NIA of using the NIA as an instrument used to attack the PFI. The searches were carried out throughout Bengaluru, Shivamogga, Mangaluru, and other areas of Karnataka.
Talking in front of the media Abubakkar Kulai, leader of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Mangaluru stated, “NIA officials had come with warrants to look into in the PFI office. I informed them that they were in the SDPI office, not the one from the PFI. They claimed they were able to look through two floors of the building and requested that we cooperate. They took a few papers like the rental agreement’s copy as well as photos of several events organized in SDPI. SDPI.”
In Lucknow In Lucknow, NIA has arrested an aged 45 Waseem Ahmed, who was the head of the PFI in UP.
In Hyderabad In Hyderabad, the PFI office in Chandrayan Gutta was searched and sealed by the NIA. The agency confiscated hard disks, computers, and documents. The agency also conducted searches at offices and homes located in LB Nagar and Uppal, belonging to those who are believed to be supportive of the PFI.
Last week, authorities from the NIA searched Karimnagar at the residences that belong to PFI activists. Also, searches were conducted this week in the Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh.
In Maharashtra In Maharashtra, The Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) carried out searches in 12 locations which included Pune as well as Mumbai, and detained 20 suspects connected to the PFI.
ATS sources stated that the searches were conducted within Aurangabad, Pune, Kolhapur, Beed, Parbhani, Nanded Jalgaon, Jalna, Malegaon, Navi Mumbai, Thane, and Mumbai.
“Four crimes have been recorded within Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, and Nanded under Indian Penal Code sections 153A and 153B, 121A, 109, 120B as well as UAPA section 13-1B for engaging illicit activities, encouraging animosity between communities and plotting to wage conflict against the state. Up to now, 20 individuals associated with PFI were arrested. The investigation is ongoing,” a senior ATS officer told.
In response to a question about whether the ATS actions were in coordination together with NIA as well as in coordination with the NIA and ED, Maharashtra ATS chief Vineet Agarwal replied, “We are conducting our own investigation and our actions are in that direction.”
Five individuals were brought before an extra-judicial court in Mumbai on Thursday evening. The ATS requested their arrest over 14 days saying they were engaged in spreading hatred among the community and threatened the integrity of our nation through their actions. Special judge A M Patil granted the ATS custody of the five suspects until September 26, noting that the crime is serious and relates to illegal activity and the insurgency.
In a press conference, Mohammed Quis Anwar Shaikh, Pune district president of the PFI The two individuals who were detained in Pune were Razi Khan, the former Maharashtra General Secretary of the PFI as well as Abdul Qayyum, Pune district unit vice-president, and an IT professional.
“Razi Khan was transported to Nashik and Abdul Qayyum has been taken to Mumbai. We are currently in the process of providing them with legal counsel,” Shaikh said.
“These raids are unlawful and in violation of the Constitution. We are opposed to the detention of PFI National Executive Council as well as the state unit’s members… Based on false terror allegations, members of these organizations are accused of being framed, and their lives are destroyed when they are kept in jail for a long time. The PFI will hold rallies across Pune on Friday, to protest the act,” he said.