22 PFI leaders and functionaries were arrested in Kerala -- the most among all states.
Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) faces a ban in Karnataka and legal action after raids by anti-terror agency NIA and over 100 arrests. The Kerala High Court today initiated a case against PFI over its planned strike against the raids.
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The Kerala High Court, pointing out that it had banned forced shutdowns, asked the state government to take strict action against the PFI for violating its order.
The Kerala High Court had in January said nobody can call a protest shutdown in the state without a seven-day notice.
The PFI will be banned in Karnataka and the process has been started, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said.
The minister said 18 places were searched yesterday and 15 people were picked up for questioning. Seven people were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), he said.
Formed in 2006, the PFI claims to work for the empowerment of marginalised communities in India and advocate the rights of Dalits, Muslims, and tribals. Law enforcement agencies, however, say PFI is promoting radical Islam and recruiting for terror outfits.
PFI came under the scanner of central agencies after its members chopped off the hand of a college professor in Kerala for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
The NIA on Thursday morning raided the premises linked to PFI in several states. Over 100 top PFI leaders and functionaries have been arrested in what is believed to be the "largest ever" crackdown to date.
The raids are linked to allegations of terror funding, organising training camps, and radicalising others to join extremist groups. 22 people were arrested in Kerala -- the most among all states.
The group had called for a dawn-to-dusk strike in Kerala on Friday to mark its protest. It took out protest marches, blocked vehicles, and forcefully shut shops in various places where the outfit has a strong presence. Besides cops, some bus and truck drivers, and commuters, suffered injuries from stone pelting.
The PFI Kerala state committee has said that it considers the arrests "unjust" and "part of atrocities by the state". "A hartal (strike) will be held in the state on September 23, Friday, against the RSS-controlled fascist government's move to use central agencies to silence dissenting voices," it said. The PFI also called upon the "democratic believers" to make success the strike against the "fascist regime that crush civil rights".