The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday morning raided the premises linked to Popular Front Of India (PFI) in several states, government sources said.
In a massive crackdown on PFI, the anti-terror agency carried out raids in ten states, including Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Over 100 top PFI leaders and functionaries have been arrested in the nationwide raids. The raids were carried out by NIA, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and state police in a coordinated move.
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 what is believed to be the “largest ever” crackdown till date, raids and searches are being carried out against those allegedly involved in terror funding, organising training camps and radicalising others to join extremist groups.
PFI members staged protests in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka against the arrests.
“The raids are taking place at the homes of national, state and local leaders of PFI. The state committee office is also being raided. We strongly protest the fascist regime’s moves to use agencies to silence dissenting voices,” the PFI said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the anti-terror agency charged four PFI functionaries under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after carrying out searches at 38 locations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.