"Witch-Hunt Using Tools Of Hindutva": Popular Front (PFI) On Raids, Terror Charges

Top leaders of the Muslim organisation PFI and its political wing were arrested in multi-state action by NIA and other agencies last week

'Witch-Hunt Using Tools Of Hindutva': Popular Front (PFI) On Raids, Terror Charges

PFI members in custody in Assam. (File)

New Delhi:

Calling recent raids and arrests by central government agencies "a drama" and "witch hunt", the Popular Front of India said these were "intended to generate terror".

The agencies arrested more than 100 leaders of the Muslim organisation PFI and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India last week in raids across several states. They have been charged under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA and accused of planning strikes across India, including an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a statement today, the PFI said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are "two servile tools in the hands of the Hindutva regime at the Centre". 

"This was a deliberate attempt to generate a feeling of terror among people about PFI, a legally and transparently functioning organisation," the statement added. "The arrested leaders were neither fugitives nor in hideouts... So, there was no need of any 'crackdown' as being propagated by the agencies and the media."

The PFI denied specific allegations about "spreading disaffection against India". "The organisation in its history of three decades has been endeavouring to prevent the youths from getting radicalised... and to bring them to the mainstream by instilling patriotism, strong allegiance to the Constitution of the country and respect the democratic values," it said.

Denying another charge, it added, "Popular Front has never thought of or endeavoured to establish Islamic rule in the country. It always strongly raises its voice to maintain the democracy in the country and to save and protect the Constitution."

It attacked the RSS, mentor body of the ruling BJP, saying that it "trying to engender unrest and thought of revenge amongst the Muslim youths, and to instigate them to hold weapons and retaliate violently, so that eliminating them for these crimes would be easy".

Earlier today, a second round of nationwide action on the organisation was held, leading to more than 200 arrests. Agencies conducted raids in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh.

The PFI is accused of terror funding, providing weapons training to Muslim youth, and radicalising them to join terrorist organisations. The action is reportedly based on intelligence inputs provided by the National Investigation Agency.

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