Crackdown On PFI: NIA Raids In Bihar’s Purnia, Araria, Aurangabad

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By: TNI Team | New Delhi
Updated: 22 September, 2022 1:32 pm IST

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched offices of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and residences of its key members in Purnia, Araria, and Aurangabad in Bihar as part of a nationwide crackdown on the radical Islamist outfit on Thursday morning.

NIA conducted a search and seizure operation at the regional office of PFI in the Purnia district for seven hours early in the morning.

Personnel of Central security forces was deployed at multiple locations in Bihar.

After raids in Purnia, NIA officials came out of the PFI office with a bag apparently filled with key evidence and documents, and PFI literature.

Meanwhile, several PFI members alleged that NIA sleuths called them inside the office, locked them up in a room for hours, and manhandled them.

“They threatened to slap UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) on us. They kept us locked inside a room for several hours,” a PFI member alleged.

Incidentally, Union home minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit the Purnia district on Friday, September 23.

The raids are part of a massive crackdown on PFI that started in at least 10 states on Thursday morning. As many as 106 members of the outfit have been arrested by the NIA, financial crime agency Enforcement Directorate (ED), and local police.

The highest number of arrests has been made in Kerala at 22, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka (20 each). A total of 10 people have been arrested in Tamil Nadu, nine in Assam, eight in Uttar Pradesh, five in Andhra Pradesh, four in Madhya Pradesh, three in Puducherry, and two people in Rajasthan.

As the news spread, senior leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Union ministers, swung into action to defend the operation. Some of them demanded a complete ban on the organization, calling it a “terrorist outfit”.

Reacting to the searches, Union minister Giriraj Singh said that Bihar was gradually turning into a hotspot of terror activities and accused the incumbent JDU-RJD-Congress government of appeasement of Muslims.

“PFI is a terrorist organization involved in anti-national activities. It has made Purnia a centre for its activities in Bihar. Strong action must be taken against such outfits,” Singh said in Patna.

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