A day after the pan-India crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI), in which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested 106 leaders from 15 states, the probe agency arrested 10 more of its leaders from Kerala on Friday, 23 September.
These included Karamana Ashraf Moulavi, Sadiq Ahmed, Shihas, P Ansari, MM Mujeeb, Najumudeen, TS Sainudheen, PK Usman, Yahiya Koya Thangal, and K Muhammedali.
With them, the number of arrested leaders from Kerala rose to 28.
They all face charges under Sections 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) and 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code.
Several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act have also been slapped on them.
NIA officials claimed in their remand report, submitted at a court in Kochi, that the “incriminating documents” they seized on Thursday exposed a giant conspiracy targeting prominent leaders of a particular community.
Details from the remand report
In the aforementioned remand report, the NIA accused the organisation of conspiring to establish Islamic rule in India by torpedoing the existing constitution and democracy.
The report has also alleged that the PFI was executing large-scale terrorist activities across the country as a part of its “violent jihad”.
According to the remand report, PFI cadres were active in different states, encouraging vulnerable and disgruntled youths to join terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic State group, and Al-Qaida.
On Thursday, 19 PFI leaders were arrested from Kerala, but all of them were taken to Delhi in a chartered flight hired by the Border Security Force (BSF). They were produced at the Patiala House Court in Delhi, and then taken into NIA custody.
On Friday, as per the information available, they were grilled by key NIA officials. All those who were arrested on Friday were remanded in judicial custody, and the NIA is expected to produce a request for a transit warrant to take them to Delhi on Saturday.
Accoeding to the charges in the remand report, the PFI caused alarm and fear among ordinary people across the country by engaging in criminal activities.
Moreover, the organisation justified such criminal activities as part of an alternative justice delivery system, it added.
The report also said the PFI cadres never believed in the unity and integrity of India, and that they preferred to indulge in unlawful activities to promote enmity between different religions and social groups.
The report said the PFI and its cadres constituted a potential threat to maintaining harmony in the country.
NIA officials also said the PFI had prepared a “hit-list” to finish off its enemies from other religions.
Further investigations are required to obtain more evidence and prevent a bloodbath in society, they added.
The agency said in the report that the PFI was engaged in spreading disaffection against India to a particular section of people by wrongful interpretation of government policies, so as to create hatred against the state and its machinery.
As per reports from Karnataka, the seven leaders arrested from there include Yasir Arafath from Bengaluru City.
All the PFI leaders arrested from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana have also been taken to Delhi.
Though the bandh called by the PFI resulted in large-scale violence in Kerala, only isolated protests were reported from other states.