In one of the largest anti-terror operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and police forces on Thursday conducted(PFI) workers across 15 states and arrested over 100 people for allegedly funding terrorism and supporting terror activities in the country.
“Searches were conducted by ED, NIA and state police forces across 93 locations in 15 states on top PFI leaders and members in five cases registered on inputs of involvement of PFI leaders and cadres in funding of terrorism, terrorist activities and radicalising people,” NIA said in a statement.
The raids by the central investigative agencies drew condemnation from Opposition parties even as PFI announced a bandh (shutdown) in Kerala on Friday in protest.
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- Searches were carried out in 93 locations of 15 states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.
- A total of 106 PFI workers and leaders were arrested for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. NIA arrested 45 of the 106 people in 5 cases.
- The maximum number of arrests were made in Kerala (19) followed by Karnataka (7), Tamil Nadu (11), Andhra Pradesh (4), Rajasthan (2) and one each from Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. 61 other PFI cadres were arrested by ED and state police.
- NIA said the arrested PFI leaders and cadres were involved in funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations.
- During the searches, incriminating documents, cash, sharp-edged weapons and a large number of digital devices were seized.
- The PFI emerged in 2007 following the government ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). PFI has projected itself as an organisation that fights for the rights of minorities, Dalits, and marginalised communities.