UP STF ‘foils’ terror attack plan with arrest of PFI men with explosives
A top UP police official said a operation was launched to nab the accused after the STF came to know about PFI’s plan to conduct terror attacks in Uttar Pradesh and recruit educated youngsters.
The special task force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh police claimed to have foiled a terror attack in the state by arresting two members of the Popular Front of India (PFI), and recovering arms and explosives from their possession, said a top police official.
“A team of STF arrested Asad Badruddin and Firoz Khan, PFI members, from near Gudamba area in Lucknow. The duo are from Kerala and had planned to conduct explosions at Basant Panchami celebrations by Hindu organisations, and other strategic locations in UP. Their aim was to create religious enmity in society by doing so,” said additional director general (ADG), law and order, Prashant Kumar. He added that the STF recovered 16 high explosive devices with battery detonators, a pistol and live cartridges from the possession of the accused.
PFI, which claims to be a social youth organisation based in Kerala, has been under the radar of police in several states. In 2019, many of its members were arrested across the state of Uttar Pradesh in connection with violent anti Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) protests.
Recently the Enforcement Directorate filed a charge-sheet against office-bearers of PFI and its students’ wing -- Campus Front of India (CFI) -- for allegedly conspiring to incite violence and disturb harmony in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district, where a Dalit woman was gang-raped by four upper caste men last September. ED claimed that more than ₹100 crore were deposited in the accounts of PFI over the years and a very large part of this money is feared to have come in from the middle east. The organisation is also being probed for its alleged role in Delhi riots last year.
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Kumar said STF came to know about PFI’s plan to conduct terror attacks in Uttar Pradesh and recruit educated youngsters in their organization.
“We came to know from intelligence sources that two members of PFI have come to UP by train. We formed a team and alerted our sources to track them,” said ADG, STF, Amitabh Yash.
A case was in the process of being registered against the duo at the anti-terror squad (ATS) police station in Lucknow.