New Delhi: In a massive crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI), multi-agency teams led by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted nearly simultaneous raids across 15 states, including 106 leaders and activists of the radical Islamist outfit. Allegedly supporting terrorist activities in the country.
The raids were carried out in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.
News agency said that the details of the plan were discussed extensively in two high-level meetings between officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and central agencies.
According to sources associated with the NIA, on August 29, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with the officials of NIA, Enforcement Directorate and Intelligence Bureau. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla were also present in the meeting.
All agencies were asked to prepare a report to counter PFI and Instructions were also given to take action against people associated with PFI.
After all the central agencies completed their preparations, the Home Ministry held a meeting with the officials of the investigating agencies on September 19. Ordered that all agencies conduct raids in coordination.
According to the information, more than 250 officers and employees of the investigating agencies were involved in the proceedings.
PFI national president OMS Salam and Delhi PFI chief Parvez Ahmed were also arrested by the NIA. All these people have been accused of terror funding, organizing terror camps and teaching bigotry to people.
Keeping the operation a secret was the top priority of the security officials, who held discreet meetings with their counterparts.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kochi earlier this month to commission the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval met with the Kerala Police.
As per the instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the NSA led the operation. After his visit to Kerala, the NSA traveled to Mumbai in Maharashtra, where he held a meeting with the city’s security officials at the Governor’s House. Sources say that the plan of action against PFI was started three-four months back.
IANS said that the NIA and the MHA were keeping a watch on the activities of the PFI for a long time. The NIA, in a detailed report submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2017, had sought a ban on PFI for indulging in terrorist activities. Several states have also demanded a ban on PFI.