Days after multi agency raids on top leaders and functionaries of Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) leading to over a hundred arrests, a second round of nationwide crackdown on the organisation is underway. Investigative agencies are conducting operations across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi.
PFI has been accused of terror funding, providing weapons training to Muslim youth, and radicalising them to join terrorist organisations.
The action is reportedly based on intelligence inputs provided by the National Investigation Agency.
The Thane Crime Branch in a late night operation arrested four PFI activists from Mumbra for allegedly indulging in unlawful activities, promoting enmity among communities, and waging a war against the country.
There are reports of raids going on in Aurangabad and Solapur as well.
The local police in Karnataka, in an early morning raid, took over 40 PFI members into custody. The houses of PFI leaders were raided across the state including in Bagalkote, Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Ramanagara, Mangaluru, Koppal, Bellari, Kolar, Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Vijayapura districts.
More than 75 PFI and SDPI workers and leaders were also taken into preventive custody in Karnataka, anticipating violent protests.
In Assam, atleast 21 PFI leaders have been arrested across five districts in an early morning raid by the state police. They were detained from Nagarbera area of Kamrup district, Goalpara, Barpeta, Dhubri, Baksa, and Darrang. There are reports of raids in Udalguri and Karimganj as well.
In Delhi, raids have been reported in Shaheen Bagh and Nizamuddin areas.
The PFI will be banned in Karnataka and the process has been started, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had said.
Formed in 2006, the PFI claims to work for the empowerment of marginalised communities in India and advocate the rights of Dalits, Muslims, and tribals. Law enforcement agencies, however, say PFI is promoting radical Islam and recruiting for terror outfits.
PFI came under the scanner of central agencies after its members chopped off the hand of a college professor in Kerala for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.