NIA files three chargesheets against PFI, its leaders and members

The agency arraigned 68 accused in two separate cases in Kochi and Chennai.

March 17, 2023 10:08 pm | Updated March 18, 2023 08:38 am IST - NEW DELHI

The NIA said the two chargesheets related to criminal conspiracies allegedly “hatched by the PFI to create a wedge between people of different communities. File

The NIA said the two chargesheets related to criminal conspiracies allegedly “hatched by the PFI to create a wedge between people of different communities. File | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed three separate chargesheets against the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI), its leaders and members on multiple charges.

On Friday, the agency arraigned 68 accused in two separate cases in Kochi and Chennai (. “With these, the total number of chargesheets filed by the NIA against the PFI cadre this month has gone up to four. The first chargesheet was filed in Jaipur on March 13 and the second in Hyderabad on March 16,” it said.

The NIA said the two chargesheets related to criminal conspiracies allegedly “hatched by the PFI to create a wedge between people of different communities through radicalisation of impressionable Muslim youth, providing them with training in handling of weapons, and raising funds for carrying out acts of terror and violence with the ultimate objective of establishing an Islamic rule in India by 2047”.

In the Kerala case chargesheet, the killing of Palakkad resident Sreenivasan has also been covered. “The NIA investigations had shown some of the accused in the PFI criminal conspiracy case [September 2022] to have been involved in the Sreenivasan killing too,” said the agency. The PFI and 58 others have been made accused in the chargesheet.

They include the then State PFI general secretary Abdul Sathar, executive member Yahiya Koya Thangal, Ernakulam zonal secretary Shihas M.H., district secretaries/president Sainudhen T.S., Sadik A.P. and C.T. Sulaiman, besides P.K. Usman, the then Kerala Social Democratic Party of India general secretary.

The NIA had arrested 16 persons after taking over the case in September 2022, while the others were nabbed earlier by the Kerala police. During the probe, the agency searched over 100 locations in the State and later attached 17 properties. Besides, 18 bank accounts were frozen.

Various units established

The agency alleged that the PFI had established various units, such as “reporters wing”, “physical and arms training wing” and “service teams”. The outfit was allegedly using its campuses, facilities and infrastructure to impart arms training to the select cadre in the guise of physical education and yoga training. Special “hit teams” were set up to eliminate “targets”.

Whenever required, the PFI “pressed into service its loyal and highly trained cadres of their ‘service teams’ as ‘executioners’ of the orders pronounced by their parallel courts called ‘Dar-ul-Qaza’”.

Also read: PFI’s secret wing in Kerala drew up ‘hit list’ of prominent leaders of particular community: alleges NIA

Another chargesheet involving similar charges has been filed against 10 accused in a separate case registered by the NIA’s Chennai office. Among them is the then State PFI vice-president Khalid Mohammed. The agency had arrested nine accused and taken the 10th into its custody later.

In yet another case, initially registered by the Nizamabad police in Telangana, the NIA submitted a supplementary chargesheet on Thursday against five persons alleging their role in a conspiracy to radicalise/recruit the youth and organise arms training camps. The accused are Shaik Raheem, Shaik Vahaid Ali, Jafrulla Khan Pathan, Shaik Riyaz Ahmed and Abdul Waris.

Last December, the NIA had filed the first charge sheet against 11 accused in the same case. “These PFI cadre misinterpreted religious texts and proclaimed that violent form of jihad was necessary to alleviate the sufferings of Muslims in India. Once recruited into the PFI, the Muslim youth were sent to the training camps...where they were trained in the use of lethal weapons to kill their ‘targets’ by attacking their vital body parts such as throat, stomach, head, etc.,” it alleged in a statement on Friday.

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