PFI planned to target PM Modi in Bihar on July 12, says ED

24 September, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

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PFI planned to target PM Modi in Bihar on July 12, says ED

The Enforcement Directorate claimed that the Popular Front of India (PFI) planned to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna and was raising terror modules, collecting deadly weapons and explosives, and preparing to launch simultaneous attacks on sensitive places and individuals in Uttar Pradesh.

The ED said in its remand note against PFI member Shafeeque Payeth, who was arrested in Kerala on Thursday, that the organisation had organised a training camp to commit an attack during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s July 12 visit to Patna.

Significantly, PM Modi came within inches of being assassinated in Patna in October 2013 when jehadi terrorists from the Indian Mujahideen, which, like the PFI, contains members of the illegal Students’ Islamic Movement in India among its ranks, bombed a rally he attended immediately afterwards.
The ED discovered data of Rs 120 crore gathered by the group over the years, largely in cash and intended to be channelled for riots and terror actions across the country.
Following Thursday’s nationwide operations on the outfit, during which numerous authorities, including the National Investigation Agency, arrested more than 100 people linked with the outfit, the agency has apprehended four PFI members.

The ED detained three more members of the organization’s board of directors in Delhi: Perwez Ahmed, Md. Ilias, and Abdul Muqeet. Since 2018, when a money laundering investigation was begun against PFI, all of them have been questioned many times by the agency.
The Enforcement Directorate has accused Payeth, who previously lived in Qatar, of illegally using his NRI account in India to transfer money from outside to PFI in order to cause disruptions in the country. According to ED, Payeth’s premises were previously seized by the agency last year when investments in real estate enterprises and their diversion to PFI were exposed.

“Over the years, more than Rs 120 crore has been deposited in the accounts of PFI and linked businesses, with a very considerable portion of the same deposited in cash from unknown and suspect sources both within and outside the nation,” the agency stated.

The agency went on to say that “these funds were layered and transferred for eventual use in their continuous unlawful activities over time which include but are not limited to inciting violence and fomenting trouble leading to Delhi riots of February 2020, visit of PFI members to Hathras with an intent to disturb communal harmony, inciting riots and spreading terror, planned to form a terror gang, collection of deadly weapon and explosives to simultaneously launch attacks on important and sensitive places and individuals in UP with an intent to undermine the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.”

PFI has been charged by the agency with criminal conspiracy and conduct that could “threaten the unity, integrity, and sovereignty of the nation.” Many bank accounts belonging to PFI and its members were examined during the investigation, and statements from the accused were recorded.