Simultaneous searches were conducted by police teams at multiple locations in seven States and a Union Territory on Tuesday during the second round of crackdown on Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders and activists. Over 170 suspects have been either arrested or detained.
The searches were carried out in Assam, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Delhi and Karnataka based on intelligence inputs and the information gathered during the first National Investigation Agency-led (NIA) clamp down on 15 States on September 22. During the previous operation, 109 accused persons were arrested.
On Tuesday, about 25 PFI activists were arrested from different parts of Assam, while 25 were held from Maharashtra’s Aurangabad, Thane, Nanded, Parbhani, Malegaon and Amravati. Various wings of the Uttar Pradesh Police took into custody over 55 people following raids in 26 districts. The police in Madhya Pradesh detained 21 people from Bhopal, Ujjain, Indore, Neemuch and other parts of the State; and 10 were detained in Gujarat for questioning.
In Kerala’s Palakkad, the police searched the PFI offices and the houses of its leaders and functionaries at Kalmandapam, Chadanamkurissi, BOC Road, and Sanghuvarathodu. The houses of some Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leaders were also covered. The police in Mananthavady (Kalpetta) seized swords from a tyre shop allegedly belonging to a PFI activist, who is yet to be traced.
The Delhi Police detained 30 persons from various places. Some more detentions were reported from Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.
The NIA and the other probe agencies have taken into custody a large number of the accused persons arrested on September 22 for interrogation. The NIA had searched 93 locations and arrested 45 PFI leaders and activists in connection with five cases registered following inputs and evidence that they were allegedly involved in terror funding/activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations. Most of the arrests, 19, were made in Kerala, followed by 11 in Tamil Nadu and seven in Karnataka.
(With inputs from different bureaus and PTI)