PFI crackdown round 2: Over 100 leaders and members detained from 8 states across India

News Network
September 27, 2022

New Delhi, Sept 27: In its second major crackdown against the Popular Front of India (PFI), police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested many leaders/ members after conducting raids in eight states on Tuesday. Many from the party or those working for party members were also detained.

Raids were conducted in Aurangabad, Jalana, Parbhani districts of Maharashtra; Simoga, Bidar, Ballari, Hubli, Kalburgi districts of Karnataka; Nagarbera of Assam; Bulandshahr's Kasba Syana, Sarurpur and Lisari Gate area of Meerut in Western Uttar Pradesh; and at several places in Delhi.

Earlier, in a nationwide crackdown against the PFI on September 22, around 106 senior office-bearers of the organisation were arrested.

Among Tuesday's arrests, as many as 27 PFI members were held in Maharashtra during the NIA raids. Those who were arrested include district presidents, secretaries, treasures among several other members.

In Karnataka, over eighty persons have been detained in the raids conducted by the Karnataka state police in several districts across the state at the residences of office-bearers and members of PFI and its offices under the provision of 'Preventive Action' under the CrPc.

The raids were conducted under the supervision of Alok Kumar, additional director general of police (AdGP, Law and order). Kumar said, "We have detained around 80 persons so far and they will be sent for detention."

In Delhi, more than 30 PFI members were detained during multiple raids by central agencies. As per latest reports, the raids are still underway at several places in the city.

Twenty-five PFI activists were arrested from different districts of Assam in a fresh crackdown against the outfit. The highest number of 10 PFI activists were held in Goalpara, five in Kamrup (Rural) and three in Dhubri, followed by arrests in Barpeta, Baksa, Darrang, Udalguri and Karimganj.

At least 10 people have been detained in Gujarat for questioning over alleged links with PFI in raids conducted by a joint team of the state ATS and NIA.

Meanwhile the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) detained 21 members from eight districts of the state over links with Popular Front of India (PFI). In Bhopal, the ATS conducted raids at SDPI's (Social Democratic Party of India) office located at Shahjahanabad area late on Monday and detained one suspect for interrogation.

Persons associated with SDPI are suspected to have been funding PFI, and the ATS claimed to have recovered some documents related with the same. 

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News Network
November 20,2022

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Mangaluru/ Mysuru, Nov 20: The Karnataka police today conducted searches at the house of a youth who suffered severe injuries in a blast in a moving auto rickshaw in Mangaluru last night. The injured, who is also the prime suspect in the blast case, was reportedly staying in Mysuru. 

According to the police, the accused took the one-room accommodation on rent last month. He had told the house owner that he was in the city for "mobile repair training".

Preliminary investigation indicates Mohammed Shariq, 24, hailing from Teerthahalli he has terror links. He had previously been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for graffiti on walls in Mangaluru. He was out on bail in the case. He was also absconding in a terror case and was wanted by the police.

Police have verified his photos in their records and his family has also identified the injured person in the hospital as Mohammed Shariq, via a phone, and are on their way to the hospital, a senior police official said.

Shivamogga stabbing case

Probing a stabbing incident in Shivamogga around Independence Day over putting up a photo of V. D. Savarkar, Shivamogga Rural Police had busted an alleged terror module with alleged links to Islamic State. Police had arrested Maaz Muneer Ahmed, 22 and Syed Yasin, 21 and recovered explosive materials from the duo.

Investigations had uncovered that they were radicalised by Mohammed Shariq and they had learnt making bombs through PDF files, videos and several materials sent to them by Shariq. The duo had prepared an IED and tested it successfully on the banks of Tungabhadra, police had alleged. However, Shariq had fled from his residence and had been absconding till date. 

Mohammed Shariq and Maaz Ahmed were earlier arrested by Mangaluru City Police in 2020 over graffiti they wrote on the walls of two buildings in the coastal city, in support of Lashakr-e-Taiba and Taliban, and were later released on bail. Maaz Ahmed was again busted in the terror module case in Sepetmber 2022, even as Shariq the prime accused in the case was at large. 

Links to Al Hind IS module

Mohammed Shariq is said to be associated with Matheen Ahmed Taha, also hailing from Shivamogga and a member of Al Hind IS module, active in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Bengaluru-based Al Hind IS module was allegedly put together by Mehboob Pasha, a resident of Gurappana Palya, Bengaluru and Khaja Moideen, a resident of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, accused in several murder cases of Hindutva leaders in the neighbouring state.

The module was busted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2020 and chargesheets filed in 2021, alleging the group wanted to establish an IS province inside the jungles of South India. However, Matheen Ahmed Taha, a prominent member of this group, is still at large and Mohammed Shariq is suspected to be his associate.

The blast occurred on Saturday evening inside an autorickshaw, near a police station, leaving the passenger and the driver injured. Both have been admitted to the hospital. The police said inside the vehicle, they found a burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries, which Shareeq was apparently carrying. The pressure cooker, the police said, was a low-intensity Improvised Explosive device or IED.

‘Not well enough to give a statement’

This morning, the police confirmed that it was "an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage". The Karnataka police are investigating it along with central agencies.

The police said Shareeq is not well enough to give a statement. The auto driver, who was also injured, is in the hospital.

Shareeq was also carrying an Aadhaar card which did not belong to him, the police said. The owner of the card has been located. Premraj Hutagi, a resident of Karnataka's Hubballi district, has said he had lost the card and had acquired a duplicate.

Citing the "stolen" Aadhaar card, the police said it gives them a "fair idea that he was planning to target something, but we don't know what". "We are not ruling out his having a connection with the recent Coimbatore blast," said state police chief Praveen Sood. 

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News Network
November 13,2022

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Chikkamagaluru, Nov 13: Right wing outfit Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik on Sunday said 25 fierce Hinduwadis including him will contest the 2023 Assembly polls in Karnataka, as independent candidates, aimed at protecting Hindus.

He alleged that the BJP which came to power with the support of Hindus has failed to protect the community and Hindutva.

"The BJP was born for and because of Hindutva...other than Modi (PM Narendra Modi) at the centre and Yogi (CM Yogi Adityanath) in Uttar Pradesh, we are not able to see anyone else working or running the administration to save Hindutva.

The BJP that won in Karnataka because of the hard work of Hindus, could not protect Hindus and Hindu Karyakartas," Mutalik said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, even today Hindu Karyakartas are suffering with Goonda Act cases against them and their names are mentioned in the rowdy sheet, and the BJP despite being in the government did not show any mercy on them by making efforts to take back cases, also there have been killings of many Hindu Karyakrtas.

"As Hindus in BJP who have won, have not been able to do anything, we fierce Hinduwadis in Karnataka like- karyakartas who are there for Hindutva and Swamijis- have resolved to enter politics to save Hindutva. So in the upcoming 2023 Assembly polls 25 fierce Hinduwadis will contest as independent candidates," Muthalik said.

To liberate Datta Peetha, to stop killings of Gomatha (cows), to free from Christian religious conversion, to save Hindu women from Love Jihad, they are contesting polls, with a resolve to protect Hindus, he further added.

The Datta Peetha shrine issue has been a controversial one in Karnataka for several years.

A temple in the name of Dattatreya and a dargah in the name of Sufi saint Baba Budan Dargah are located at the cave in the Bababudangiri Hills of the Western Ghats. Muthalik had recently said that he will contest in the next Assembly elections and that a study is on to finalise a constituency from where he has to contest.

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News Network
November 22,2022

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New Delhi, Nov 22: In a new twist to the row over viral videos of Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain receiving massages in jail, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s claim that these were "physiotherapy sessions" has been refuted by sources who say the "masseur" in the video is a prisoner in a rape case.

The man giving the AAP minister a massage in the security videos is Rinku, a prisoner charged with rape under the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) law, according to official sources at Tihar Jail. He was arrested last year after his own daughter, a class 10 student, accused him of assaulting her.

The CCTV videos, dated September 13, 14 and 21, are the subject of a fierce row between the AAP and the BJP in the run-up to the Delhi civic elections next month.

The videos surfaced days after the Enforcement Directorate accused Mr Jain, who was arrested in a money laundering case, of getting special treatment inside Tihar Jail. The "VIP treatment" allegation led to the transfer of at least 12 Tihar jail officials besides the Director General (prisons), Sandeep Goel.

Mr Jain was seen getting massages and chatting with people sitting in his cell, which is not allowed in prison. Neither are physiotherapy sessions allowed in a prisoner's cell, said officials.

As the videos went viral, bolstering the BJP's demand to move the minister out of Tihar Jail, AAP leaders claimed Mr Jain was receiving physiotherapy for a spinal injury.

AAP has not commented on the new revelation, which was seized by the BJP.

"Rape accused Rinku was giving massage to Satyendra Jain. Rinku Accused under Pocso and IPC 376. So it was not a physiotherapist but a rapist who was giving maalish to Satyendra Jain! Shocking. Kejriwal must answer why he defended this and insulted physiotherapists," tweeted Shehzad Poonawalla, BJP spokesperson.

Even on Monday, Arvind Kejriwal strongly refuted the BJP's allegation of VIP treatment to his minister, sticking to the "physiotherapy, not massage" argument.

"They are calling it a massage and VIP treatment, but it's merely physiotherapy," Mr Kejriwal told reporters on the sidelines of his campaign in Gujarat's Vadodra.

Mr Jain has been in jail since June. A Delhi court denied his bail request last week.

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