The National Investigation Agency had also recently submitted reports on the group to the Home Ministry. (Photo Credit: PTI)
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday said at least 108 members of the Muslim extremist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) have been arrested for role in the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest violence in the state. Awanish K Awasthi, additional chief secretary of the Uttar Pradesh home department, on Monday said: "This is just the beginning. We will get to the roots of the organisation. A probe is also going on about their financial dealings. We are in touch with central agencies and are sharing information with them.”
"PFI is active in districts like Sambhal, Muzaffarnagar, Lucknow, Shamli among several others. On December 19 and 20, PFI members were responsible for instigating violence during the anti-CAA protest," he said.
Last month, UP Police arrested at least 14 PFI activists for allegedly instigating violence in the state while Assam Police also picked up PFI state unit president Aminul Hoque and Mohammad Muzammil Hoque, the press secretary of the organisation, for their alleged role in violence in Guwahati.
The PFI reportedly has presence in 23 states and the strongest in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.
The National Investigation Agency had also recently submitted reports on the group to the Home Ministry, claiming it was involved in terrorist activities, including running terror camps and making bombs, and it was a fit case to be banned under the UAPA.
However, Home Ministry officials are tight-lipped on the possible action against PFI, saying the ministry would not like to comment on an individual organisation before taking any action.
“Until criminality of any organisation is proved on the basis of available evidence, we cannot make any comment on any organisation,” another ministry official said.
The cases which the NIA had cited for PFI’s alleged involvement in terror acts were: chopping of a professor’s palm in Kerala’s Idukki district and organising a training camp in Kannur from where the central probe agency allegedly seized swords, country-made bombs and ingredients for making IEDs.
It had also mentioned the murder of RSS leader Rudresh in Bengaluru and the alleged plans to carry out terror attacks in South India by involving another outfit, Islamic State Al-Hindi.