Investigative agencies are conducting operations across Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
PFI has been accused of terror funding, providing weapons training to Muslim youth, and radicalising them to join terrorist organisations. The action is reportedly based on intelligence inputs provided by the National Investigation Agency.
The special cell of Delhi Police is conducting raids in several places including Rohini, Nizamuddin, Jamia, Shaheen Bagh, and central Delhi with the help of local cops. 30 people have been detained in the national capital so far, highest in any state today so far.
The Thane Crime Branch in a late night operation arrested four PFI activists from Mumbra for allegedly indulging in unlawful activities, promoting enmity among communities, and waging a war against the country. In Maharashtra, there are reports of raids going on in Aurangabad and Solapur as well.
The local police in Karnataka, in an early morning raid, took over 40 PFI members into custody. The houses of PFI leaders were raided across the state including in Bagalkote, Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Ramanagara, Mangaluru, Koppal, Bellari, Kolar, Bengaluru, Mysuru, and Vijayapura districts.
More than 75 workers of PFI and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), a political wing of the Popular Front of India, were also taken into preventive custody in Karnataka, anticipating violent protests.
In Assam, at least 25 PFI leaders have been detained across five central and lower Assam districts in an early morning raid by the state police. They were picked up from Nagarbera area of Kamrup district, Goalpara, Barpeta, Dhubri, Baksa, and Darrang. There are reports of raids in Udalguri and Karimganj as well. Earlier, Assam Police had arrested 11 leaders and workers of PFI from various parts of the state, and one from Delhi.
The UP Police Special Task Form (STF) also arrested one person yesterday. The STF arrested a person identified as Abdul Majeed from the Vibhutikhand bus stand from Lucknow under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) when he was trying to leave the city, police said.
The NIA had arrested over 106 members of the PFI during its largest-ever raids spread across 15 states on September 22. Following those raids, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had said the PFI will be banned in the state and the process has been started.
Formed in 2006, the PFI claims to work for the empowerment of marginalised communities in India and advocate the rights of Dalits, Muslims, and tribals. Law enforcement agencies, however, say PFI is promoting radical Islam and recruiting for terror outfits. The organisation came under the scanner of central agencies after its members chopped off the hand of a college professor in Kerala for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
With inputs from NDTV