New Delhi: In a major breakthrough linked to the largest-ever action against the Popular Front of India (PFI), the Central investigating agencies have found inputs against the outfit for “organizing a training camp with an intent to cause disturbance during Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s visit in Bihar’s capital Patna on July 12 this year”.
Besides, during the course of the investigation, the agencies have found details of numerous bank accounts of PFI. The revelation came in two separate remand copies of the Enforcement Directorate– one submitted before a special judge in Lucknow against Muhammed Shafeeque Payeth, resident of Kozhikode in Kerala, and the other against Perwez Ahmed before a special court in Delhi.
Both Payeth and Ahmed were arrested from Kerala and Delhi respectively on September 22 during a first-ever largest search operation conducted by a joint team of ED and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and state police forces, arresting 106 PFI members from 15 states.
Payeth, a resident of Kozhikode in Kerala, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate around 5.35 am on September 22 from his flat there while Ahmed was arrested from Delhi.
Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) investigation, the ED’s remand copy mentions, so far has also revealed that “more than Rs 120 crore have been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the years, and that a very large part of the same has been deposited in cash”.
The ED informed the court that the inputs were received after the details related to individuals and entities were obtained and their bank statements were analyzed.
Statements of various functionaries of PFI and related entities have also been recorded, the agency claims, mentioning the investigation of Bihar Police as well as of NIA.
“As many as 12 cases against PFI and its related entities and individuals have been investigated by the NIA and charge sheets have been filed…Investigations have further established the criminal conspiracy of PFI in raising and collecting funds through unknown and suspicious sources from within the country as well as abroad and the subsequent transfer, layering and integration of such funds for eventual use in their continuous unlawful activities over time which include, but are not limited to inciting violence and fomenting trouble leading to Delhi riots of February 2020,” the copy mentions.
The remand copies also mentioned the visit of PFI and CFI members to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh with an intent to “disturb communal harmony, inciting communal riots and spreading terror, plan to form a terrorist gang – a collection of deadly weapons and explosive devices to simultaneously launch attacks on important and sensitive places and individuals in UP with an intent to undermine the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation and to disturb communal harmony”.
The remand copies further revealed that the PFI was also “organizing training camp with an intent to cause disturbance during Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Patna visit on July 12, 2022”.
The out is also charged of “preparing, printing and possessing incriminating literature having potential to pose threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation”.
The ED informed the court that it has been conducting an investigation against PFI and its related individuals and entities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 under the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) dated May 2, 2018, on the basis of various cases registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other Law Enforcement Agencies invoking Scheduled offences under Sections 120B, 121, 121A of Indian Penal Code, Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substance Act, Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act and Sections 13, 16, 17, 18 and 18(A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
These cases of the predicate agencies pertain to unlawful activities carried out by PFI and its related individuals and organizations to indulge in criminal conspiracy with an intent to disturb communal harmony, spread terror, incite communal riots, impart training to their cadre to use explosives and weapons, form a terrorist gang and collect deadly weapons and explosive devices to simultaneously launch attacks on many important persons and sensitive locations.
The criminal conspiracy and activities in several of these cases had the potential to pose threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation, reads the remand copy.
The NIA in its one of the two separate First Information Reports in the Phulwari Sharif terror module case has also mentioned a plan to disturb the proposed visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bihar by some suspected persons.
Both the FIRs were registered on July 22– first mentions about a plan to disturb the PM’s visit by some suspected persons who had assembled in the Phulwari Sharif area on July 11 while the other is linked to the interception of one Margub Ahmad Danish aliasTahir by Bihar Police on July 14 for his alleged involvement in anti-India activities and radicalization of impressionable youth using various social media platforms.