In a major crackdown against the Popular Front of India (PFI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at multiple locations in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other states. Over 100 PFI members and people connected with them have been arrested by the ED, NIA and state police in different cases.
The arrests have taken place in more than 10 states. The Home Ministry is also keeping a close eye on this operation. Two PFI members were also arrested from Lucknow, sources said.
Karnataka | PFI and SDPI workers protest against NIA raid in Mangaluru— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2022
NIA is conducting searches at multiple locations in various states pic.twitter.com/4Pl2Tj8oar
In the "largest ever investigation till date", the searches are taking place at the premises of those allegedly involved in terror funding, organising training camps, and radicalising people to join proscribed organisations.
These searches are being conducted in the residential and official premises of persons involved in funding terrorism, organising training camps and radicalising people to join proscribed organisations.
The arrests were also made from Delhi's Shaheen Bagh and Ghazipur.
Assam Police also detained nine people linked with PFI across the state. A senior police official told ANI, "Last night Assam police and NIA jointly launched operation in the Hatigaon area, Guwahati and detained 9 persons across the state linked with PFI."
More than 200 NIA officers and members of the raid team carried out the searches. Karnataka Police detained PFI and SDPI workers protesting against NIA raid in Mangaluru.
Tamil Nadu | NIA officials are conducting raids at the Popular Front of India (PFI) party office in Dindigul district.— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2022
More than 50 members of the PFI are protesting outside the party office against the NIA raid. pic.twitter.com/9jvCOEeZpp
The NIA and ED are conducting raids at the houses of PFI leaders, including the house of OMA Salam, PFI chairman in Manjeri, Malappuram district, and at PFI offices from midnight, sources told ANI. As the raids are underway, PFI workers have staged protest outside the house of OMA Salam in Malappuram.
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala | NIA & ED conducting raids at the houses of PFI state, district level leaders including the house of OMA Salam, PFI chairman in Manjeri, Malappuram district & at PFI offices from midnight: Sources pic.twitter.com/Xxss77ekS7— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2022
NIA raids in Kerala, Tamil Nadu
"NIA and ED conducted raids in various offices of PFI in Kerala. Raids are happening across 50 locations and also at the leader's house, "A Abdul Sattar, State General Secretary , PFI said.
"The latest example of atrocities is the midnight raid by central agencies NIA and ED in the houses of popular front leaders in the state. The raids are taking place at the houses of national, state and local level leaders. The state committee office is also being raided. Strongly protest the fascist regime's moves to use agencies to silence dissenting voices," he added.
NIA officials have initiated raids in various locations in Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore, Thirunelveli and Tenkasi and are conducting raids at properties related PFI and SDPI.
Pyaz Ahmed, Cuddalore district head of PFI and Madurai district Secretary Yasser Arafat are being questioned by NIA.
In the past few days, the NIA has registered more than a dozen cases related to PFI links. According to NIA sources, in recent days, the agency has raided more than 100 places in connection with the PFI links in the country.
On September 18, the NIA raided multiple locations across different districts in Andhra Pradesh and members of PFI were picked up for questioning in connection with instigating violence and illegal activities. Officials also raided a house in Telangana's Nizamabad district and issued a notice to a man to visit the NIA office in Hyderabad. As many as 23 teams of NIA officials simultaneously conducted searches in Nizamabad, Kurnool, Guntur and Nellore districts.
(With inputs from Jitendra Singh)