In the “largest-ever” crackdown on terror operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) along with the security of Paramilitary forces on Thursday conducted searches nationwide at the premises of groups, including Popular Front of India (PFI), and individuals involved in terror-related activities.
The searches are being carried out in multiple locations in over a dozen states across the country. Over 120 PFI members and people connected with them have been arrested.
Top sources have told CNN-News18 that the government is planning to ban the proscribed outfit in what is being seen as the final blow after its top leadership was arrested in two UAPA cases and many more face allegations of mobilising funds in the name of religious activities and creating tensions between communities.
The Popular Front of India (PFI) was formed in 2006 in Kerala and is headquartered in New Delhi. The outfit claims to strive for a neo-social movement ostensibly for the empowerment of marginalised sections of India. However, it has been accused of promoting radical Islam by law enforcement agencies.
The various allegations include connections with various Islamic terrorist groups, possessing arms, kidnapping, murder, intimidation, hate campaigns, rioting, Love Jihad and various acts of religious extremism.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting with officials including NSA, Home Secretary, DG NIA amid the massive crackdown.
Security has been beefed up outside NIA headquarters as reports suggest that a few of the arrested PFI personnel could be brought to Delhi.
More than 200 officers and members of the raid team carried out the searches, which began at 3 am and still continue. Protests have started surfacing in multiple states, as most of the state headquarters of the organization are being sealed, chiefs being held.