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ED books riot-accused Tahir Hussain for money laundering; PFI for funding violence

PUBLISHED ON MAR 11, 2020 10:50 PM IST

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has filed two cases to investigate the alleged funding of the Delhi riots last month – one against suspended Aam Aadmi Party councilor Tahir Hussain and another against Popular Front of India (PFI), officials at the agency said on Wednesday.

Tahir Hussain, who is facing charges of killing an Intelligence Bureau official, has been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), said one of the officials, who didn’t want to be named. He added that the agency has taken cognizance of the Delhi Police Crime Branch’s probe into the alleged role of Hussain and his associates in organizing the riots, for which he could have received the funding.

Similarly, taking cognizance of Delhi Police’s probe against PFI and its office bearer in Delhi, Mohammad Danish, ED has filed a case against the Kerala based organization for allegedly mobilizing funds during the communal riot, in which 53 people lost their lives. “It is suspected that PFI funded a set of rioters,” said the first official. Delhi Police on Monday arrested Mohammad Danish for allegedly spreading fake news during the riot.

ED will soon take custody of both Tahir Hussain and Danish.

Hussain, an AAP corporator from ward number 59 under the Mustafabad assembly seat in Delhi, was booked by the police in the murder case of IB staffer Ankit Sharma in north-east Delhi amid the violence over the new citizenship law that degenerated into a communal riot. The family of Sharma (26), found dead in a drain near his home in riot-hit Chand Bagh area, has accused Hussain of being behind the killing. The corporator has said he was falsely implicated in the case and had denied wrongdoing.

In the case of PFI, officials said the organisation was already being probed by the ED for allegedly routing about Rs 120 crore funds to fuel anti-CAA riots across the country and that the agency has questioned about half-a-dozen of its office bearers over the last fortnight. A note in this regard was sent by ED to ministry of home affairs in January this year.

PFI, in a statement on Monday, rejected the allegations of the organisation’s links to communal violence in Delhi as “baseless”. “Popular Front rejects the allegation as baseless propaganda and would like to make it clear that the organisation is unnecessarily being dragged into the incidents in Delhi. Delhi police is using the same tactic that has been tried and failed by police in Sangh Parivar ruled states such as Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh,” the organisation said in a statement.

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