State govt. seals PFI offices and arrests 45 more activists as crackdown continues

Police sources said most of the facilities where they stuck notices on Friday were functioning as charitable offices affiliated with the PFI

September 30, 2022 09:01 pm | Updated October 01, 2022 08:16 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Police officers sealing the Popular Front of India district committee office at Pallimukku in Kollam on Friday.

Police officers sealing the Popular Front of India district committee office at Pallimukku in Kollam on Friday. | Photo Credit: C. Sureshkumar

The State government crackdown on the proscribed Popular Front of India (PFI) unfolded in different places in the State on Friday.

The police arrested 45 more PFI activists for the hartal violence taking the total of those arrested to 2,242.

Based on the report of local station house officers, District Police Chiefs notified several premises across Kerala as sites for “unlawful association” under Section 8 (1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, and sealed them.

Illustratively, the Station House Officers of Aluva East and Perumbavoor police stations in Ernakulam marked two sites in the respective jurisdictions as places of "unlawful association".

They are the 28-acre Periyar Valley Charitable Trust campus at Kunjunnikkara in Kodungalloor panchayat and PFI's east district office in Vengola panchayat. Subsequently, Vivek Kumar, District Police, Ernakulam Rural, issued a notification under the relevant UAPA provision. The same legal process was repeated across Kerala.

In Kozhikode, National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials, escorted by the State police, inspected the PFI's State committee office, Unity House, at Meenchanda. Earlier, the district police had notified the place as a site PFI cadres could use for unlawful association.

The police said any further activity in the location would invite prosecution. The law enforcement also notified five other premises in Kozhikode as sites for the possible unlawful association. They included the Campus Front of India (CFI) State committee office.

On Friday, the police mainly focussed on the Vadakara and Nadapuram areas in the Kozhikode rural area. Police sources said most of the facilities where they stuck notices on Friday were functioning as charitable offices affiliated with the PFI.

Affiliates on radar

The PFI's alleged front organisations on the law enforcement's scanner are Rehab India Foundation (RIF), All India Imams Council (AIIC) and National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation.

Wayanad District Police Chief R. Arvind said the police sealed the PFI's district office at Buffalo Street in Mananthavady and another officer at Rippon, near Meppad.

In Kottayam, the police sealed a PFI office at Kanjirapally. Officials inspected several premises for suspected PFI activity at Erattupetta and Mundakayam.

Officials said the places were registered in the name of SDPI, a political party with ECI recognition, and were beyond the pale of the PFI ban and UAPA provisions. In Kollam, the police sealed PFI's office at Pallimukku.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the police shuttered PFI offices at Pangode, Azhikode in Nedumangadu, and Balaramapuram.

They have moved for the arrest of five alleged PFI activists who demonstrated at Kallambalam on Thursday.

The police notified a building at Thangal Nagar at Palluruthy in Ernakulam under th UAPA after a part of it was found to have hosted an office of the PFI and a few meetings.

The PFI office at Puthupally Theravu in Palakkad was closed and sealed. The office was reportedly in the name of PFI secretary M.K. Faizy. Four offices in Kannur and two offices in Kasaragod were also sealed.

An official said action against suspected PFI activity would march in lockstep with the ongoing arrest of those activists responsible for widespread violence during the hartal called by the outfit last week.

Meanwhile, the NIA has requested the Home department to house PFI activists in judicial remand on high security premises.

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