Top PFI leaders swooped in 3.30am NIA call
The NIA was successful in picking up 45 accused in five FIRs related to PFI-SDPI. All these cases have been registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and indicate that a much stronger action on the PFI may be taken by the central government.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and police of 13 states' raids on PFI-SDPI leadership in the wee hours of Thursday morning yielded successful results with the accused caught unaware of the swoop by enforcement agencies.
It was around 3.30am that order was issued by the director general of the NIA Dinkar Gupta along with ED director Sanjay Mishra and concerned state police chiefs to knock on the doors of PFI-SDPI leadership for terror-related activities. The NIA was successful in picking up 45 accused in five FIRs related to PFI-SDPI. All these cases have been registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and indicate that a much stronger action on the PFI may be taken by the central government.
As many as 106 accused were picked up with the remaining are likely to be arrested.
The country-wide operation was reviewed by Union home minister Amit Shah along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the DG NIA and two intelligence agencies chiefs. The raids were conducted after detailed dossiers were compiled by the Intelligence Bureau along with the fund pattern of the so-called socio-religious organisation from west Asia.
The NIA said the "searches" were conducted 93 locations in 15 states, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur. The break-up of locations in these cities: Kerala (39), Tamil Nadu (16), Karnataka (12), Andhra Pradesh (7), Telangana (1), UP (2), Rajasthan (4), Delhi (2), Madhya Pradesh (1), Maharashtra (4), Goa (1), West Bengal (1), Bihar (1), Manipur (1). The NIA said has arrested a total of 45 people.
“A large number of criminal cases have been registered by different states over the last few years against the PFI and its leaders and members for their involvement in many violent acts,” the NIA said.
“Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI such as chopping off the hand of a college professor, cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing the other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to Islamic State and destruction of public property have had a demonstrative effect of striking terror in the minds of the citizens,” it added.
During the searches conducted, incriminating documents, cash, sharp-edged weapons and a large number of digital devices have been seized, the NIA said.