Popular Front of India (PFI), a radical Islamist outfit in Tamil Nadu has accused the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of targeting Muslims and attempting to link Islamic ‘social outfits’ like them with terrorism out of political pressure.
On Friday (3 May), NIA conducted massive search operation in at least 20 locations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, including four PFI offices.
The searches were being conducted in connection with the murder of 41-year-old Ramalingam, a social activist, in Kumbakonam in February. NIA has recently taken over this case.
Ramalingam was murdered after his attempt to resist proselytisation by members of an Islamic group in a Hindu Dalit dominated neighbourhood.
In a press release, the NIA said that it carried out searches at 20 locations at Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Trichy and Karaikal in connection with the Ramalingam Murder Case.
Searches were conducted in the houses of the arrested accused, absconding accused and four offices of PFI.
During searches, a number of digital devices including 16 mobile phones, 21 SIM cards, 3 Laptops, 9 Hard Discs, 7 Memory cards, 118 CDs/DVDs, tablet, 7 Diaries, 2 PFI Banners and a DVR have been seized.
Besides this, a sword, sharp edged knife and cash of Rs 2 lakh were recovered from three different houses and about 100 Incriminating documents have also been seized.
PFI’s State unit president Mohammed Ismail charged that NIA was operating under the pressure from ruling BJP government and Sangh Parivar.
Ismail claimed that PFI was focused only on social services and the educational sector, but NIA’s raids on offices of the outfit in the state, was attempt to link it with Ramalingam’s killing or the Sri Lankan church blasts.
If NIA continued to ‘target’ Muslims, PFI would resort to legal course of action and ‘massive’ agitation, he warned while speaking to reporters.
The Popular Front of India (PFI), a radical Islamist organisation, came to the limelight for its brutal act of violence when its members chopped off a hand of T J Joseph, a lecturer from Ernakulam district of Kerala on 4 July 2010.
Joseph’s hand was hacked by the members of the PFI for preparing a question paper which, according to the PFI, insulted Prophet Mohammad and hurt the sentiments of Muslims.
PFI is also believed to have strong presence in as many as 15 Indian states and reportedly has links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
PFI has been accused of floating several front organisation like the Citizen’s Forum in Goa, Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti in West Bengal, Community Social and Educational Society of Rajasthan, Karnataka Forum of Dignity (KFD) in Karnataka, Liong Social Forum in Manipur and the Association of Social Justice in Andhra Pradesh (AP).
In 2010, then the Chief Minister of Kerala and Senior CPM leader, V S Achuthanandan, accused PFI and its allies of plotting to Islamise the state of Kerala within 20 years. He added that the PFI is pouring money to attract the youth from other religions and encouraging them to marry Muslims.
While PFI‘s strategy is directed towards aggressive propagation of Islam among the non-Muslims, it projects itself as a group working for the upliftment of the less privileged in the society
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