An official said the NIA had conducted searches in multiple locations as part of the largest survey process to date. “These searches are carried out at the residential and official premises of people involved in financing terrorism, organizing training camps and radicalizing people to join banned organisations,” he said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) have launched nightly raids across the country on the homes of several leaders belonging to the Indian Popular Front (PFI) and others groups. The residence of OMA Salam, president of the PFI, in Malappuram in Kerala and some offices of the PFI were also raided.
In the ‘biggest investigation to date’, the raids took place at the premises of those allegedly involved in financing terrorism, running training camps and radicalizing people to join banned organizations, an official quoted by PTI said.
The NIA searches were also carried out in homes of PFI desk bearers in several locations in Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Ramnad, Dindugal, Theni and Thenkasi. “Searchs were also being conducted at Chennai PFI State Headquarters located at Purasawakkam,” the report said.
Apart from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, raids have also taken place in Karnataka, Bihar, Assam and Maharashtra, among other states.
More than 100 detainees
As many as 106 PFI leaders have been arrested in 13 states as part of the joint search by the NIA, ED and state police, News 18 reported. “In the major action in 10 states, the NIA, ED and State Police have arrested more than 100 PFI executives,” sources quoted by the ANI news agency said.
This sparked protests from PFI and SDPI (Social Democratic Party of India) workers. Meanwhile, security has been tightened in Karnataka after police arrested protesting PFI and SDPI workers in Mangaluru.
Additionally, the NIA has sealed off Telangana PFI’s head office in Chandrayangutta, Hyderabad in connection with a case registered earlier by the agency.
“Using agencies to silence dissenting voices”
Responding to the raids, the PFI said in a statement: “The raids are taking place at the homes of the national, state and local leaders of the PFI. The office of the state committee is also raided. We strongly protest the attempts of the fascist regime to ‘use agencies to silence dissenting voices’.
(With agency contributions)
(Edited by : Akriti Anand)
First post: STI