NIA raids: Protests erupt around SDPI, PFI offices, several in preventive custody

Source: PTI | Published on 22nd September 2022, 7:26 PM | Coastal News | State News | National News |

BENGALURU/MANGALURU/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/NEW DELHI: Following the raids by the National Investigation Agency on Thursday at the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Popular Front of India (PFI) offices and the residences of the office-bearers, activists have been protesting across the country.

In Kerala, activists of the PFI staged protests across the state against the recent raids by multi-agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

As the news of the early morning searches broke out, PFI workers took out marches to the places where the raids were carried out and raised slogans against the Centre and its investigating agencies. However, central forces were already deployed in all such places as part of strengthening security.

Similarly, in Karnataka, many Muslim youths came near the places where the raid was going on and raised 'NIA go back' slogans. They also tried to hinder the ongoing raids. The police thwarted their attempt by taking them into preventive custody. In Bengaluru, the raids were carried out at Sampigehalli, Frazer Town and Richmond Town.

In Tamil Nadu, at Cumbum in Theni district, a couple of locals who agitated against the apprehension of a PFI office-bearer by the NIA were detained by the police.

At Karumbukadai in Coimbatore, a protest was held when the officials picked up a functionary. Police detained the protesters.

Maharashtra raids

In near-simultaneous raids the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested 20 activists of the PFI indulging in unlawful activities promoting enmity among communities and waging a war against the country, an official said.

In Maharashtra, raids were conducted by various ATS teams in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Aurangabad, Pune, Kolhapur, Beed, Parbhani, Nanded, Malegaon (in Nashik district) and Jalgaon, an official said.

The ATS teams arrested at least 20 people from various places and seized important documents, he said.

The ATS has registered four offences in Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nanded under various Indian Penal Code Sections including 153-A (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 121A (conspiring to commit certain offences against the State) and 120B (criminal conspiracy), and provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), he said.

The ATS officials were also making enquiries with some people in connection with these cases, he said.

'Largest-ever' raids

A total of 106 PFI members arrested so far in multiple raids across 11 states including Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (9), Delhi (3), Karnataka (20), Kerala (22), MP (4), Maharashtra (20), Puducherry (3), Rajasthan (2), TN (10) & UP (8).

The raids, taking place mainly in South India, was termed by the NIA as the "largest ever" investigation process "till date".

The NIA said the searches are taking place at the premises of people allegedly involved in terror funding, organising training camps, and radicalising people to join proscribed organisations.

Details of the arrested activists were not available immediately, but officials said the arrests were done by the NIA, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the police forces of 11 states so far.

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