The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out major raids against the Popular Front of India (PFI) across the country on Thursday and arrested over 100 members and people connected with them.
Search operations were also carried out at multiple locations in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other states where the central probing agencies were supported by the state police forces.
In the massive operation, arrests have taken place in more than 10 states so far. According to reports, the Union home ministry is keeping close tabs on the operations.
In what is being dubbed as the “largest ever investigation till date”, searches are being carried out at the premises of those alleged to have involvement in terror finding, organizing training camps, and radicalizing people join proscribed organizations.
The searches are being conducted at the official and residential premises of the people associated with PFI. The raids were undertaken by more than 200 officials of NIA, assisted by the ED.
Arrests have been made in Guwahati, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Malappuram and many other places. In Malappuram, raids are underway at the house of OMA Salem, the PFI chairman in Manjeri in the district since midnight. PFI workers in Malappuram staged protests outside the residence of OMA Salem.
PFI state general secretary A Abdul Sattar said, “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.”
He further 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.”
Meanwhile, raids have also been initiated in Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore, Thirunelveli and Tenkasi at premises related to PFI and SDPI.
Moreover, PFI Cuddalore district head Pyaz Ahmed and Madurai district secretary Yasser Arafat are being questioned by the NIA.
It may be noted that the NIA registered more than a dozen cases related to PFI links in the past few days. NIA has recently raided more than 100 places across the nation in connection with the PFI links.
The central probing agency on September 18 conducted searches at several locations across different districts in Andhra Pradesh and PFI members were taken in for questioning for 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 of the state.