NIA raids PFI-linked suspects in six states over Bihar conspiracy case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids at several locations in six states on Wednesday in connection with a case related to creating a disruption during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bihar last year. The raids targeted the suspects linked to the banned outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), which was allegedly raising a PFI Army and organizing arms and terror training camps.


PFI accused of hatching a criminal conspiracy

The case pertains to the involvement of accused and suspected persons, associated with the PFI, who had assembled in Phulwari Sharif area of Patna in Bihar on July 12, 2022. Two persons were apprehended and several incriminating articles and documents related to the PFI were also seized. The NIA took over the case and re-registered a First Information Report on July 22, 2022.

According to the NIA, the accused had been promoting the unlawful and violent agenda and activities of the PFI and channelising illegal funds from abroad to the PFI members and accused persons in this case for carrying out of violent terror acts. The accused had also been hatching a criminal conspiracy to create disturbance during the prime minister’s visit to Bihar in July 2022, the agency said.

The NIA has arrested 16 accused so far and filed chargesheets against them. The PFI was banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs in September 2021.

NIA seizes incriminating materials from six states

The NIA conducted searches in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi-NCR and Madhya Pradesh based on inputs against the suspects. The searches were underway since morning at over a dozen locations in these states.

In the raids, the NIA also seized several incriminating articles and documents relating to the radical organisation which was raising a PFI Army by radicalization and indoctrination of youth through false and communal narratives, at the behest of anti-national forces operating from across the border, to wage a war against the country.

The agency also recovered weapons, swords, iron rods, laptops, mobile phones, SIM cards, hard disks, pen drives, documents, posters, banners and literature of the PFI from the premises of the suspects.

NIA raids home of acquitted accused in 2006 Mumbai train blasts case

One of the locations raided by the NIA was the home of Abdul Wahid Shaikh in Vikhroli area of Mumbai. Shaikh was an accused in the 2006 railway blasts case but a trial court acquitted him of all the charges. He is suspected to be operating the ‘Innocent Network’, an organisation believed to be linked to suspicious activities associated with the PFI.

The NIA also conducted searches at the homes of other PFI members and office-bearers in Tonk, Kota and Gangapur in Rajasthan; Hauz Kaji and Ballimaran in Delhi; Madurai and Salem in Tamil Nadu; Lucknow and Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh; and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

The NIA said that further investigation is underway to unearth the larger conspiracy behind the unlawful activities of the PFI.

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