As searches against the Popular Front of India continue across the nation, including Maharashtra, the Nashik Police Crime Branch detained the All India Imam Council’s state president Maulana Irfan Daulat Nadvi and a member of the organisation on Tuesday.
The raids are underway by the central agency and state anti-terror squad at various locations in the state including Thane, Nashik and Malegaon. “All India Imams Council state chief Maulana Irfan Daulat Nadvi and PFI member Rashid Shahdain Shaheed Iqbal taken into custody by Nashik Police Crime Branch u/s 151 late last night,” said Police Inspector Hemant Patil on Tuesday.
“Around 40 people linked to PFI have been detained from Aurangabad, Solapur, Amravati, Pune, Thane and Mumbai so far. This entire operation has been carried out by the state’s local police with inputs from a Central Agency. All inquiries are underway,” said Maharashtra Police.
Pune Police officials informed that the police detained six persons with links to SDPI and PFI from the Kondhwa area today morning. Further details are awaited.
The raids are also being conducted in five other states and Union Territories which include Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
As many as 25 PFI leaders and members have been arrested so far in the raids in Assam’s Kamrup Rural (5), Goalpara (10), Karimganj (1), Udalguri (1), Darrang (1), Dhubri (3), Barpeta (2), Baksa (2).
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the operation against the organisation will be intensified.
“Today in Assam, we have picked up 25 PFI people. This operation will be intensified,” he said.
Earlier today, in state-wide raids in Karnataka, about 80 to 90 PFI workers of its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and leaders were taken into preventive custody, informed a police official.
“About 80 to 90 PFI and SDPI workers and leaders have been taken into preventive custody, including the SDPI Yadgiri district president. The police raids are underway across the state. The cases have been booked under sections 108, 151 CrPC,” said Alok Kumar, ADGP Law and Order, Bengaluru.
According to the Kolar Police, seven PFI and SDPI members and office bearers have been picked up in the early morning raids and will be produced before the executive magistrate under 107 CrPC.
The arrested persons have been identified as Imtiaz Ahmed, PFI district president, Siddiq Pasha, Vasim Pasha, AllaBakash, Nayaz Pasha, Shahabaz Pasha and Noor Pasha.
Speaking to ANI, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said, “Police have caught 21 people (associated with PFI) from 8 districts. Links about them were found after the people who were arrested last week were interrogated”.
The raids today were part of the NIA and ED’s assault on the PFI that began on September 22.
During its largest-ever searches across 15 states, the NIA apprehended over 106 PFI members.
In the broadest investigation procedure to date, searches were undertaken in several places.
The operation began late at night at 1 a.m. and was expected to be completed by 5 a.m., involving around 1,500 people from state police, Central Armed Police Forces, and NIA and ED officials.