NIA, ED, state police raid PFI-SDPI leaders in 13 states for terror activities
The NIA has picked up no less that 40 PFI leaders post raids with ED and State Police taking separate action. The planned and coordinated raids started at 3.30am with all the enforcement chiefs in their offices through the night.
On the basis of credible evidence and intelligence inputs, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate and state police conducted pan-India raids covering 13 states against PFI, SDPI leadership and cadres for terror-related and terror-funding activities. The raid started at 3.30am and reports indicate that the NIA has arrested 40 PFI leaders.
According to top government officials, the states in which the raids were conducted include Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Puducherry, Assam, Rajasthan. While, the ministry of home affairs is expected to come up with a detailed press note the nationwide raids, the NIA officials are examining the results of the raid and will press charges on the arrested PFI leaders. Apart from NIA and the state police have also come down heavily on PFI and its political wing SDPI.
While the raids were spearheaded by DG NIA Dinkar Gupta, full intelligence support was provided by the internal and external security agencies.
"The raids are result of a coordinated effort between the enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies. With all agencies chiefs concerned working since last night and clearing last-minute hurdle," said a senior law enforcement officer.
The Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) have been the focus of the home ministry since intelligence inputs indicated that the radical Islamist organization was being illegally funded from West Asian countries, particularly Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The funds were being used not only for terror activities across the country but also for radicalizing the youth. The organization had links with pan-Islamist organization like Muslim Brotherhood and had plans to be the face of Islam in India.
The core leadership of the PFI-SDPI is essentially from the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), whose main aim was to establish Islamic Caliphate in India. Although an ultra conservative Sunni organization, PFI projected itself to be the leader of all Muslims in India including Sufis, Barelvis and Deobandis.
PFI office bearer houses at several places in Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Ramnad, Dindugal, Theni and Thenkasi were raided. Searches also being conducted at the Chennai PFI State Head office at Purasawakkam. Assam Police has detained nine persons linked with PFI across the state after conducting joint operation in the Hatigaon area of Guwahati.
Earlier this month, NIA conducted searches at 38 locations in Telangana and at two locations in Andhra Pradesh in the case relating to Abdul Khader of Nizamabad district in Telangana and 26 other persons. In the operation, NIA had seized incriminating materials, including digital devices, documents, two daggers and ₹8,31,500 cash.