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106 including PFI chief arrested in massive pan-India raid

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 22: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) Paramilitary force on Thursday morning launched a massive nationwide search operation against groups, including PFI, and individuals and arrested over 106 people, including top leaders of PFI for allegedly supporting terrorists, officials said.

PFI Chairman OMA Salam and State president CP Muhammad Basheer were taken into custody from Malappuram's Manjeri. The probe agency also arrested Delhi PFI chief Parvez Ahmed and his brother from Okhla at 3.30 am on Thursday morning.

NIA & ED conducting raids at the house of OMA Salam, PFI chairman in Manjeri, Malappuram district, PFI workers stage protest.

In the "largest ever investigation till date", the searches are taking place at the premises of those allegedly involved in terror funding, organising training camps, and radicalising people to join proscribed organisations, they said.

The raids were carried out in the cities of several states including Bihar, Pune, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the officials, nearly 100 activists, including the top leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI), have been detained so far in the raids which are taking place in 11 states.

The maximum number of arrests were made in Kerala (22) followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka (20 each), Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (9), Delhi (3), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry (3), Tamil Nadu (10), Uttar Pradesh (8) and Rajasthan (2).

In Karnataka, raids are being conducted at Mangaluru and Bengaluru including SK Garden Fourth cross, Sampigehalli, Frazer Town and Richmond Town. PFI and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) workers have reportedly staged a protest in Mangaluru against the ongoing raids.

In West Bengal, raids are being conducted at the residence of a PFI worker in Kolkata.

In Rajasthan, NIA raided PFI's Jaipur office on Moti Doongri Road.

In Maharashtra, ATS conducted a large number of raids in Aurangabad, Pune, Kohlapur, Beed, Parbhani, Nanded, Jalgaon, Jalna, Malegaon, Navi Mumbai, Thane & Mumbai. ''4 offences filed in Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad & Nanded in various sections of IPC & UAPA for indulging in unlawful activities promoting enmity amongst communities & for conspiring to wage war against state. 20 PFI-linked accused arrested; probe underway,'' ATS Maharashtra said.

Assam Police has detained nine persons linked with PFI across the state after conducting joint operation in the Hatigaon area of Guwahati.

PFI office bearer houses at several places in Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Ramnad, Dindugal, Theni and Thenkasi were raided.

In Kerala, as many as 14 office-bearers of the PFI, including national, state and district leaders, were taken into custody from the state by the central agencies, the source said.PFI state president C P Mohammed Basheer, national chairman O M A Salam, national secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram and others were among those in custody, the source added.

Senior leader Abdul Sathar alleged in Kozhikode the country-wide raids at the premises of the PFI were the latest example of the state-sponsored terrorism under the BJP-led union government.

In Andhra Pradesh, SDPI workers raise slogans of "NIA Go Back" to protest against the NIA raid at the residence of an SDPI leader in Kurnool district.

The PFI, in a statement, said the ''raids are taking place at the homes of its national, state and local leaders. The state committee office is also being raided. We strongly protest the fascist regime's moves to use agencies to silence dissenting voices," the outfit said in a statement.

Earlier on Sep 18, the NIA had carried out multiple raids in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in connection with the alleged terror links of the local members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and detained four persons, the agency said.

About two dozen teams of NIA conducted searches at 38 locations - 23 in Nizamabad, four in Hyderabad, seven in Jagitial, two in Nirmal and one each in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts, besides two locations in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool and Nellore districts.

NIA arrests CPI (Maoist) activist 'Nilkamal Sikdar' in West BengalNIA arrests CPI (Maoist) activist 'Nilkamal Sikdar' in West Bengal

The raids followed the arrest of four PFI activists - Abdul Kader, Sheikh Sahadulla, Md Imran and Md Abdul Mobin, by the Telangana police on July 6, following a case registered on July 4 for their suspected terror links. The case was later handed over to the NIA, which registered a fresh case on August 26.

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