Hyderabad: Following the detention of four members from the Popular Front of India (PFI) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Telangana’s PFI president Abdul Rafeeq Rashadi said that it was an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to spread its “anti-Muslim propaganda” in the south.
“Is it a crime to teach martial arts? The man named Abdul Khader has been running Karate classes for the past 30 years, and he was not teaching anything objectionable,” said Abdul Rafeeq Rashadi, state president of PFI.
On July 4 this year, a case was registered at Nizamabad town Police Station in Telangana against PFI members. During investigations by the state police, officials identified four accused namely, Abdul Kader, Sheikh Sahadulla, Mohammed Imran, and Abdul Mobin. They were arrested by Telangana Police. Later, the case was re-registered by the NIA on August 26.
Abdul Rafeeq stated that Abdul Khader had no links to PFI, and the documents found with him had nothing to do with the organisation either. “Among the arrested, only Saadullah is a member of the organisation. the documents found in Khader’s house is completely fabricated,” he said.
The PFI leader said that the NIA conducted raids late at night. He added that the residence of state secretary Irfan was raided late at night, and it was a very scary experience for him, his wife and children. “Is this the proper way? They did not give notice before conducting these raids. If they had, PFI members would have peacefully co-operated,” he said.
“Telangana is a secular state. I implore KCR and KTR to acknowledge what is happening and not spoil the Ganga Jamuna Tehzeeb in the state. This is illegal harassment,” he said.
Upon being asked why only PFI was singled out out of the many minority-run organisations, Abdul Rafeeq said, “Perhaps it is because we are doing great work. PFI’s goals are social work, legal support, teaching moral values and speaking up about minority issues,” he said.
PFI members detained under UAPA
The agency detained four persons from PFI on September 18 from Telangana. The agency carried out raids at 38 locations in Telangana and AP in connection with a case filed on 26 August on the directions of Union Home Ministry.
The Nizamabad police initially booked a case against one Karate master Abdul Khader of Nizamabad and other PFI activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The NIA issued notices to several persons from PFI asking them to appear before the agency on Monday and join the investigation into the case. Those issued notices reached the NIA office and reportedly presented themselves before the investigation officials of the case.
Meanwhile, the NIA team detained four persons from PFI for further investigation into the case outside as part of the investigation. The agency is expected to make a few arrests in the case.
Four persons including Abdul Khader the Karate master were arrested by the Nizamabad VI Town police on 5 July and remanded. All of them are in jail now and NIA sources said they were questioned in the case.