The NIA case pertains to a terror conspiracy hatched by PFI to carry out terror activities in India.
India’s anti-terror agency launched multi-district searches in Kerala at the premises of some suspects in a terror conspiracy module hatched by the now-banned Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), on Thursday morning.
Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) initiated simultaneous search operations at multiple locations in Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur, Malappuram, Alappuzha, Kollam, and Pathanamthitta, according to NIA officials.
Searches come nearly 20 days after the agency carried out raids at three locations in Kerala’s Kozhikode and Karnataka’s Kalaburagi in a case related to the Delhi module of the PFI.
The case pertains to the criminal conspiracy hatched by office bearers, members and cadres of PFI, to raise and collect funds within India and abroad for committing terror activities in various parts of the country, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi.
It was also revealed that the accused persons were conducting training camps to indoctrinate and train their cadres to carry out terrorist activities.
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According to sources in the NIA, fresh searches are based on some leads generated after questioning of the accused in the case.
In September this year, the Central government banned the PFI and its affiliates by designating it as an “unlawful association” for a period of five years. The government issued a notification after arresting more than 100 PFI members in a nationwide crackdown.
In its notification, the government said that the PFI was involved in several “criminal and terror cases and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country with funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country”.
“The Central government is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associated or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 2 of the said Act, the Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette,” it said.
The government said that the PFI was acting as a terror hub and utilising the mass outreach and fundraising capacity of its associates or affiliates or fronts to strengthen its capability for unlawful activities. “These associates or affiliates or fronts function as ‘roots and capillaries’ through which the PFI is fed and strengthened,” the notification read.