In a nationwide predawn crackdown on the PFI, the NIA, along with the ED and state police, arrested a total of 106 people associated with the organisation.
In a nationwide predawn crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI), the National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and state police, arrested a total of 106 people associated with the organisation.
According to sources, it was around 3.30 am when a call to raid multiple locations was issued by the director general of the NIA, Dinkar Gupta, along with ED director Sanjay Mishra and concerned state police chiefs to carry out a crackdown against the PFI leadership for terror-related activities.
In the joint operation, as many as 300 NIA officers were involved in the searches at 93 locations across 15 states. The NIA was successful in picking up 45 accused in five FIRs registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The NIA arrested at least eight PFI leaders, including Kerala state president CP Muhammad Basheer, national chairperson OMA Salam, national general secretary VP Nasarudheen Elamaram, and national executive member P Koya, among others.
An NIA spokesperson here said that the anti-terror probe agency sleuths carried out searches at 93 locations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.
The official said that the searches were conducted at the houses and offices of the top PFI leaders and members in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following continued inputs and evidence that the “PFI leaders and cadres were involved in the funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations”.
The official said that 19 accused have been arrested from Kerala, 11 have been arrested from Tamil Nadu, seven from Karnataka, four from Andhra Pradesh, two from Rajasthan and one each from UP and Telangana.
The official said that in the Delhi PFI module case registered earlier this year, the agency arrested 19 people. The official said that in Delhi’s case no. 14 registered this year, the NIA arrested eight people from Kerala, seven from Karnataka, three from Tamil Nadu and one from Uttar Pradesh.
The official said that the agency arrested OMA Salam aka OM Abdul Salam, Jaseer KP, VP Nazarudheen Elamaram aka Nazaruddin Elamaram, Mohammed Basheer, Shafeer KP, E AbuBacker, Prof. P Koya aka Kaleem Koya, EM Abdul Rahiman aka EM Those arrested from Karnataka.
The NIA also arrested Anis Ahmed, Afsar Pasha, Abdul Wahid Sait, Yasar Arafath Hasan, Mohammed Shakib aka Shakif, Muhammed Farooq Ur Rahman and Shahid Nasir from Kerala.
From Tamil Nadu, the agency arrested M Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Mohammed Yousuf, AS Ismail aka Appamma Ismail and Waseem Ahmad from Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier in the day, the NIA produced 18 accused in a Delhi court in the Delhi module case and they were sent to police custody till September 26.
The official added that one of the accused could not be brought to Delhi by evening from Karnataka due to bad weather, and thus he will be produced before the court on Friday.
Meanwhile, in the Nizamabad module case, the agency arrested five people, out of whom four were arrested from Andhra Pradesh and one from Telangana. The five arrested in the case have been identified as Abdul Rahim, Abdul Wahid Ali, Shaik Zafrulla, Riyaz Ahmed and Abdul Waris.
The case was registered in August this year against more than 25 PFI cadres. Telangana Police found that the accused were organising camps for imparting training to commit violent and terrorist acts to promote enmity between different groups based on religion, etc.
In the third case against PFI, the agency arrested two people from Rajasthan identified as Mohammed Asif aka Asif and Sadiq Sarraf Talabpada.
In the fourth case of the NIA against PFI, the NIA arrested eight people from Tamil Nadu. They have been identified as Syed Ishaaq, Advocate Khalid Mohammed, AM Idris aka Ahamed Idris, Mohamed Abuthahir, S. Khaja Maideen, Yasar Arafat, Barakathullah and Fayaz Ahamed.
In NIA’s Kochi module case, registered earlier this year, the agency said that a total of 11 people have been arrested from Kerala. The arrested accused have been identified as Najumudeen, Sainuddeen TS, Yahiya Koya Thangal, K Muhammedali aka Kunhappo, C T Sulaiman, P K Usman aka Pallikkaranjalil Kunjippu Usman aka Usman Perumpilavu, Karamana Ashraf Moulavi, Sadiq Ahmed, Shihas, Ansari P and MM Mujeeb.
A large number of criminal cases have been registered by different states over the last few years against the PFI for its involvement in many violent acts. Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI, such as chopping off the hands of a college professor, cold-blooded killings of people associated with organisations espousing other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support for Islamic State and destruction of public property, have had a demonstrative effect of striking terror in the minds of the citizens.
During the searches conducted this morning, incriminating documents, cash, sharp-edged weapons, and a large number of digital devices have been seized.
To date, the NIA is investigating a total of 19 PFI-related cases and the agency has got convictions for 46 people. The anti-terror probe agency has also filed a charge sheet against 355 accused.
An agency source also said that the ED also carried out searches along with the NIA at over 40 locations.