After the NIA, ED, and police of 13 states conducted raids on PFI-SDPI leadership and establishment, Union home minister Amit Shah is holding a meeting with the concerned enforcement and security chiefs to review the evidence collected and mull over the future course of action. The meeting is also being attended by national security advisor Ajit Doval.
The raids on PFI-SDPI have been conducted on the basis of intensive investigations and data collection by the Intelligence Bureau, in consultation with the NIA and ED. All the state police involved have been in action through the night and a strong decision on the status of PFI, which ostensibly calls itself a socio-religious organisation, will be taken by the government. One may recall that the killers involved in the beheadings of the innocents in Udaipur and Amravati had links with the PFI.
Dozens of arrests have been made across the country, with the highest 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).
The searches are underway at the premises of persons involved in terror funding, organising training camps, and radicalizing people to join proscribed organisations.
The Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) have been the focus of the home ministry since intelligence inputs indicated that the radical Islamist organization was being illegally funded by West Asian countries, particularly Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The funds were being used not only for terror activities across the country but also for radicalizing the youth. The organization had links with a pan-Islamist organization like Muslim Brotherhood and had plans to be the face of Islam in India.
The core leadership of the PFI-SDPI is essentially from the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), whose main aim was to establish Islamic Caliphate in India. Although an ultra conservative Sunni organization, PFI projected itself to be the leader of all Muslims in India including Sufis, Barelvis and Deobandis.