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108 Popular Front of India supporters detained in Uttar Pradesh

Security forces deployed in view of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, in old Lucknow on December 20, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

In a fresh crackdown on Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), the Uttar Pradesh police have arrested 108 persons associated with it on charges of allegedly instigating violence during the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) on December 19 and 20.

Last month, 25 persons associated with the outfit were arrested after arson and vandalism in some districts of the State during the protests. This takes the total number of PFI members and associates arrested to 133, as per police.

Out of the 108 persons arrested over the last four days, the maximum arrests were in Meerut (21), Varanasi (20), Bahraich (16), Lucknow (14), Ghaziabad (9) and Shamli (7) and Muzaffarnagar (6). Police also arrested five in Kanpur, three in Sitapur and one each in Hapur, Gonda and Jaunpur.

DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthi said on Monday the PFI members were accused of instigating people for unlawful activities and promoting “anti-national” activities in several districts.

The Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi, said the government was gathering more information about the organisation and its “financial transactions.” It was also taking the support of Central agencies in this regard, he added.

In December last, the police identified PFI members as the alleged “masterminds” behind the arson and vandalism that took place in Lucknow on December 19.

Several people, including Wasim Ahmed, PFI ad hoc committee U.P. president; Mohammad Nadeem, PFI U.P. treasurer, and another member Qari Ashfaq were arrested.

The PFI, however, had denied the charges as “baseless allegations” and accused the police of falsely implicating its associates out of “vendetta”.

While it is yet to respond to the fresh arrests, the PFI on January 31 on the release of its U.P. ad-hoc convenor from jail said the grant of bail to several accused persons “exposed the conspiracy of the State government that continue to put the whole blame of its own law and order failings on the organisation”.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 3:53:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/108-popular-front-of-india-supporters-detained-in-uttar-pradesh/article30725964.ece

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