PFI organised training camp to create disturbance during PM Modi’s Patna visit on July 12: Agencies

24 September, 2022 | Pranay Lad

PFI Headlines

The Central investigating agencies have discovered evidence against the group for “organising a training camp with an intent to cause disturbance during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s v...

The Central investigating agencies have discovered evidence against the group for “organising a training camp with an intent to cause disturbance during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in Bihar’s capital Patna on July 12 this year,” marking a significant development in the largest-ever action against the Popular Front of India (PFI).

Additionally, the agencies have discovered information on many PFI bank accounts while conducting their inquiry. 

The information was revealed in two different remand copies produced by the Enforcement Directorate, one against Muhammed Shafeeque Payeth, a resident of Kozhikode in Kerala, before a special judge in Lucknow, and the other against Perwez Ahmed before a special court in Delhi.

Payeth and Ahmed were both apprehended on September 22, in Kerala and Delhi, respectively, as part of the first-ever largest search operation, which was carried out by a joint team of the ED, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and state police forces. 106 PFI members from 15 states were apprehended during the operation.

The Enforcement Directorate detained Payeth, a resident of Kozhikode, Kerala, at his apartment there at about 5:35 am on September 22, while Ahmed was detained in Delhi.

The ED’s remand copy states that the investigation into possible violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has so far shown that “more than Rs 120 crore have been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the years, and that a very large part of the same has been deposited in cash.”

The ED informed the court that the inputs were received following the gathering of information pertaining to people and businesses and the analysis of their bank records.

The agency asserts that statements from other PFI employees and representatives of associated organisations have also been recorded and mention both the NIA and the Bihar Police inquiry.

“The NIA has looked into up to 12 instances involving PFI and businesses and people connected to it, and charge sheets have been submitted. Investigations have further demonstrated PFI’s criminal scheme to raise and collect money from unknown and dubious sources both domestically and abroad, and to transfer, layer, and integrate that money for use over time in their ongoing unlawful activities, including but not limited to inciting violence and causing trouble that resulted in the Delhi riots of February 2020 “The copy makes mention.

The PFI and CFI members went to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh with the intention of “disturbing communal harmony, inciting communal riots and spreading terror, planning to form a terrorist gang — a collection of deadly weapons and explosive devices 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 and to disturb communal harmony,” according to the remand copies.

The PFI was also “planning training camp with a purpose to cause unrest during Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Patna visit on July 12, 2022,” according to the detention documents, which were made public.

The defendant is also accused of “creating, producing, and holding incriminating literature with the ability to endanger the unity, integrity, and sovereignty of the country.”

The ED informed the court that it has been conducting an investigation against PFI and its related individuals and entities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 under the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) dated May 2, 2018, on the basis of various cases registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other Law Enforcement Agencies invoking Scheduled offences under Sections 120B, 121, 121A of Indian Penal Code, Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substance Act, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 and 18(A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

These cases involving the predicate agencies are related to illegal activities carried out by PFI and its affiliated people and groups in order to engage in criminal conspiracy with the intention of upsetting communal harmony, spreading terror, and inciting riots. These illegal activities included training their cadre to use explosives and weapons, forming a terrorist gang, and gathering lethal weapons and explosive devices in preparation for simultaneous attacks on numerous significant people and sensitive targets.

According to the remand document, the criminal plot and acts in a number of these instances had the potential to endanger the nation’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.

A plan to obstruct Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned visit to Bihar by some accused individuals was also highlighted by the NIA in one of its two different First Information Reports in the Phulwari Sharif terror cell investigation.

Both of the FIRs were filed on July 22; one relates to the interception of one Margub Ahmad Danish alias Tahir by Bihar Police on July 14 for his alleged involvement in anti-India activities and the radicalization of impressionable youth through the use of various social media platforms. The other FIR concerns a plot to disrupt the PM’s visit by some suspected individuals who had gathered in the Phulwari Sharif area on July 11.

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