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.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate, and state police launched pan-Indian raids covering 13 states against PFI, SDPI leadership and cadres for terror-related and terror-funding operations on the basis of reliable evidence and intelligence inputs. Since the operation began at 3:30 a.m., the NIA is said to have arrested 40 PFI leaders.
The raids were carried out in the following states: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Puducherry, Assam, and Rajasthan, according to top government officials. While NIA officials are reviewing the raid’s findings and preparing to file charges against the PFI leaders who were arrested, the ministry of home affairs is anticipated to release a comprehensive press release on the statewide operations. Along with the state police, the NIA has also taken a harsh stance against PFI and its political affiliate, SDPI.
The operations were led by DG NIA Dinkar Gupta, and both domestic and international security agencies provided full intelligence support.
The results of a concerted operation between law enforcement and intelligence agencies are the raids. “With all agency heads involved, working since last night to overcome a snag,” declared a top member of the police force.
The home ministry has concentrated on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing, the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI), ever since intelligence reports revealed that the radical Islamist group was receiving unauthorised funding from West Asian nations, particularly Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Along with financing terror operations around the nation, the money was also being used to radicalise young people. The group intended to represent Islam in India and had ties to other pan-Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
The SIMI, which was outlawed and had as its primary goal the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in India, provides the majority of the leadership for the PFI-SDPI. Even though PFI was a very strict Sunni group, it put itself in charge of all Indian Muslims, including Sufis, Barelvis, and Deobandis.
Raids were conducted on PFI office bearer homes in a number of locations in Tamil Nadu, including Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Ramnad, Dindugal, Theni, and Thenkasi. The Chennai PFI State Head Office in Purasawakkam is also being searched. Assam Police caught nine PFI members in different parts of the state after a joint operation in the Guwahati neighbourhood of Hatigaon.
In the case involving Abdul Khader of Telangana’s Nizamabad district and 26 other people, the NIA searched 38 places in Telangana and two places in Andhra Pradesh earlier this month. During the investigation, the NIA seized things that could be used as evidence, such as digital devices, papers, two knives, and $8,31,500 in cash.