Plan for the entire action, in which investigative agencies NIA and ED conducted raids on Popular Front of India (PFI) premises and arrested more than 100 PFI leaders and functioneries from various states across the country, were discussed in details in two high-level meetings of MHA officials with the central agencies, if sources are to be believed.
Sources related to NIA have informed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held an important meeting with the officials of NIA, ED and IB on August 29. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla were also present in that meeting.
Officials of all the agencies concerned were asked to prepare a report with evidence against the PFI. In the meeting, instructions were given to take action against the people associated with PFI.
Thereafter, when all the central agencies completed the preparations, a meeting of the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the officers of the investigating agencies was held on September 19. All the agencies were ordered to conduct raids in coordination.
Thereafter, raids were conducted on the homes and offices of PFI cadres in about 11 states of the country between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. This was done at night so that the raiding teams do not face opposition.
According to the information, more than 250 officers and staff of investigating agencies were involved in this entire proceedings. The NIA has also arrested PFI National Chairman OMS Salam and Delhi PFI Chief Parvez Ahmed. All these people have been accused of organising terrorist camps, terror funding and teaching bigotry to the people.
In fact, the NIA and the MHA were keeping an eye on the activities of the PFI for a long time. In 2017, the NIA, in its detailed report submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, had demanded a ban on the PFI for its involvement in terrorist activities. Many states have also demanded the ban on the Front (PFI).
According to sources, the NIA had filed a report in connection with the arrest of the four accused after raids in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on September 19. It was said in the report that PFI is trying to plot terrorist activities. At the same time, a conspiracy was being hatched through PFI to establish Ghazwa-e-Hind in Bihar's Phulwari Sharif, where the NIA had raided recently.
Apart from this, NIA had recently arrested karate teacher Abdul Kader from Nizamabad in Telangana. His confession revealed that in the guise of teaching karate, people were being trained to make terrorists. The NIA was aware of many such locations of PFI.
Controversies involving the PFI are not new. In recent past, its name has come up in many anti-national activities.
Kisan Andolan: The agencies had come to know about the violence from the PFI side during the farmers' movement. After this, raids were conducted on the hideouts of PFI at many places including Meerut.
Nupur Sharma controversy and violence: After the Nupur Sharma controversy, an attempt was made to spoil the atmosphere after Friday prayers in about eight cities in Uttar Pradesh. People associated with this organisation were arrested in a conspiracy to incite violence from Kanpur to Prayagraj.
CAA-NRC: Even when there were violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi and many states of the country, it was said that PFI was behind it. In UP, then the police had arrested many members of PFI.
Hijab controversy: The name of the PFI also came up in the Hijab controversy in the schools of Karnataka. It was claimed on behalf of the government in the Karnataka High Court, that the CFI has created a ruckus for Hijab and it is a extremist organisation. The CFI is believed to be the student union of the PFI.
RSS leader murder: In 2016, RSS leader Rudresh from Bengaluru was murdered by two unidentified bike riders. In this murder, the police had arrested four people and all four were associated with the PFI.