Mon, 02 Oct 2023

New Delhi [India], September 22 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court of Delhi on Thursday sent 18 persons of the Popular Front of India (PFI), arrested from different parts of the country in a multi-agency operation led by the NIA, to a four day-remand.

The 18 accused were produced in NIA court under heavy security. All were produced before the NIA Judge Shailendra Malik. The court sent them to a four-day remand.

According to the sources, over 106 PFI members have been arrested so far in multiple raids carried out jointly by NIA, ED and police forces across 11 states.

According to the NIA, in connection with an FIR registered in Delhi 19 arrests had been made. Apart from the 18 produced in court, one more accused from Karnataka and is being brought on transit remand.

According to the NIA, all the accused would be kept in four different police stations. Moreover, NIA has told the court that neither FIR nor the remand copy would be given to the accused persons owing to the national security risk involved.

"Investigation is preliminary, and more remand might be needed later. The investigation is sensitive in nature and more people are likely to be identified", said the NIA.

Earlier in the day, searches were conducted at 93 locations in 15 states of India on Thursday. The states where the raids were conducted included Andhra Pradesh (4), Telangana (1), Delhi (19), Kerala (11), Karnataka (8), Tamil Nadu (3), Uttar Pradesh (1), Rajasthan (2), Hyderabad (5), Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.

These searches were conducted at the houses and offices of the top Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders and members in connection with 5 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.

A large number of criminal cases have been registered by different states over the last few years against the PFI and its leaders and members for their involvement in many violent acts.

Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI include chopping off the hand of a college professor, cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to Islamic State and destruction of public property. They 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. The NIA has made 45 arrests in these cases.

Earlier in the day when the NIA conducted the raids, they found several incriminating documents, more than 100 mobile phones and laptops.

The PFI and SDPI workers staged a protest in Karnataka's Mangaluru against the raids, following which they were detained by the state police. PFI workers sat on the road in protest against the NIA raid at the party office in Chennai.'The PFI was launched in Kerala in 2006 after merging three Muslim organizations floated following the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 - the National Development Front of Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Manitha Neethi Pasari of Tamil Nadu. After the demolition of the Babri mosque, many fringe outfits surfaced in south India and PFI was formed after merging some of them. (ANI)

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