NIA arrests 4 PFI workers from Telangana for involvement in terror activities

During the searches, the NIA official seized "incriminating materials", including digital devices, documents, two daggers, and ₹8,31,500.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Sep 20, 2022 | 7:07 PMUpdatedSep 20, 2022 | 11:26 PM

Popular Front of India national secretary VP Nasarudheen Elamaram condemned the NIA raids, calling them an act of harassment and "witch-hunting". (Creative Commons)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday, 19 September, arrested four members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) for allegedly organising training camps for terrorist activities and promoting enmity between different groups based on religion.

They were detained on Sunday, 18 September, from Telangana after raids in eight districts across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The raids were connected to a case registered on 4 July this year by the Telangana Police. It was later handed over by the NIA.

The NIA conducted searches at 38 locations in Telangana — 23 in Nizamabad, four in Hyderabad, seven in Jagityal, two in Nirmal, and one each in Adilabad and Karimnagar — and at two locations in Andhra Pradesh — one each in the Kurnool and Nellore districts — in a case relating to one Abdul Khader of the Nizamabad district of Telangana, as well as and 26 other persons, the probe agency said on Sunday.

According to the NIA, Khader was accused of providing his house to several PFI members for uploading hate videos, recorded to disrupt religious harmony.

Khader, a karate instructor, was arrested along with four others in July.

Search and arrest

During the searches, the official seized “incriminating materials”, including digital devices, documents, two daggers, and ₹8,31,500. They also detained the aforementioned four people for questioning, the NIA said.

The probe agency identified the arrested as Mohammed Osman (34) of Medchal-Malkajgiri, Syed Sameer (21) of Nizamabad, Feroz Khan (22) of Adilabad, and Mohammed Irfan (33) of Karimanagr, all from Telangana.

They were booked under IPC Sections 120 B (party to criminal conspiracy), 121 A (conspiracy to commit offences), 153 A (promoting enmity on the grounds of religion, race, etc), and 141 read with 13(1)(b). They were also booked under Sections 18 A and B of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

“The accused were on Monday afternoon produced in the NIA Special court at Nampally in Hyderabad where they were sent to 14 days’ judicial remand. They are currently lodged in the Chanchalguda Central Jail,” an NIA official told South First.

PFI condemns arrests

Meanwhile, PFI national secretary VP Nasarudheen Elamaram condemned the NIA raids in a statement, calling them an act of harassment and “witch-hunting” against the members and supporters of the organisation due to their religious identity.

“NIA is using the false case to target innocent members of the organisation from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The agency is following the same modus operandi of fabricating false cases and implicating innocents and building a terror narrative, as it tried in Bihar to satisfy its political masters, [sic]” he said in the statement.

He added: “This is a vicious abuse of power to suppress minority rights movement. [sic]”