INDIA: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids in over eight states including Maharashtra at multiple locations linked to the radical Islamic organization- Popular Front of India (PFI) members, allegedly involved in terror activities, and detained over 50 PFI members on Tuesday.
The raids which started early Tuesday morning are still going on. The raids were also conducted on the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the PFI. The SDPI was founded on June 21, 2009, in New Delhi. It was registered with the Election Commission of India on April 13, 2010, official sources said.
The raids were going on in Thane, Malegaon (Nashik), Aurangabad, Jalana, Parbhani, Solapur in Maharashtra, Simoga, Bidar, Bellari, Hubli, Kalburgi in Karnataka, Nagarbera in Assam, Bulandshahr’s Kasba Syana, Sarurpur and Lisari Gate area of Meerut in Western Uttar Pradesh and Nizamuddin, Rohini, Jamia, and Shahin Bagh in Delhi. Besides the raids were also conducted in Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
In some states, the local police conducted raids as per the NIA instructions. In Maharashtra, the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and the local police were conducting raids in different parts of the state.
Those taken into custody included: Maharashtra (27), Karnataka (17), Assam (25), and Uttar Pradesh (04). In Karnataka, 05 persons were detained from Simoga, 04 from Ballari, 02 from Hubli, and 06 from Kolar district. Bidar district president and Kalburgi media coordinator of PFI were detained.
“Today in Assam, we have picked up 25 PFI people. This operation will be intensified,” said Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in a tweet. Those arrested in Assam included: Kamrup rural(5), Goalpara( 10), Karimganj(1), Udalguri(1), Darrang(1), Barpeta (2), and Baska (2), Assam police tweeted.
As of now, the NIA is investigating a total of 19 PFI-related cases. Earlier in the week, over 106 members of PFI were arrested by the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Lookout Circulars were also issued against two of the PFI members on Monday.
The NIA had arrested 46 accused, who were convicted in 2010-2011. Till now the NIA has charge sheeted nearly 355 PFI members.
The PFI activists have been staging agitation in different parts of the country as a protest against the arrest of their leaders who have been lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi.
It is reported that PFI has chosen the path of ‘bayathis’. It is an Arabic word that means ‘the merchant of death or ‘fidayeen’, who swear to die and leaders of BJP and RSS are on target.