Hyderabad: Seeds of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids on Sunday in Telangana and A.P were sown on 4 July 2022, when the Nizamabad police booked a case against the Popular Front of India (PFI) for organising self-defence classes.
Cases were booked against PFI members Abdul Khader (of Nizamabad), Mohammed Abdul Ahad (Malapally Nizamabad), Shaik Ilyas Ahmed (Prakasham in Andhra Pradesh State), Abdul Saleem (Jagityal), Shahid Choush (Bhainsa), Mohd Osman (Jagityal), Shaik Sadullah, Shaik Afroz, Shaik Feroz Khan, Shaik Khasif, Shaik Ahmed, Shaik Younus, Anees, Arshad, Mohammed Ibrahim, Shaik Mukhim, Shaik Yahiya Sameer, Shaik Sameer, Mohammed Ayaz, Mohd Imran, Shaik Mazhar Hussain, Medical Shop Hameed, Moin, Shaik Moiz, Masood and others.
The case was booked in crime No 141/2022 under Sections 120 B, 121A, 153A, 141 r/w 34 of IPC and 12 (1)(B) Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967. T Sai Kumar, sub-inspector of Police Nizamabad lodged a complaint upon which the case was booked by the Nizamabad VI Town Police Station against Abdul Khader and others, who are natives of Telangana and the Andhra Pradesh States.
In the 30-page First Information Report (FIR) accessed by Siasat.com, the police alleged the Popular Front of India was organizing karate classes for the youth. Cops stated that PFI leaders provoked their cadre against Hindus through their speeches. The PFI is not only propagating in Bhainsa, Bodhan, Koratla, Jagtial of Telangana State, but also in Kurnool, Nandyal and Nellore of Andhra Pradesh.
What the FIR said
“The curriculum of the training is highly nefarious in which the cadres of PFI are being taught about how to commit mob attacks on security forces and how to save themselves. A separate curriculum of the training for the women of PFI is also being taught in regard to attack techniques and precautions to be taken by them in an incident. The activities of the accused Abdul Khader and his associates who are members of the organization PFI whose leaders are mostly from the banned organization Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) are illegal and against the constitution of India,” it stated.
Abdul Khader also allegedly revealed to police that the PFI members Abdul Ahad and others approached him and said they would provide financial support of Rs. 6 lakh in cash to construct a portion of the house for training the cadre in martial arts.
The police arrested Sadullah, Imran, Abdul Khader and Abdul Mobin in connection with the case and remanded them.
PFI denies allegations
However, the Popular Front of India leaders had denied the allegations and termed it a ‘witch hunt’ against the organization for political gains. At a press meeting, the group said the police are levying false allegations and targeting political reasons and vowed to fight the case legally in court respectively.
In mid-August, as the case pertains to the pan-India organization Popular Front of India and several cases booked against the organization in the different States of India for alleged violent crimes, the Union Home Ministry directed the NIA to take up the case.
The National Investigation Agency re-registered a case on 26 August and took up the investigation. The agency on Sunday conducted searches at 38 locations in Telangana including 23 in Nizamabad (where the case is booked against many cadres), Hyderabad 4 places, Jagtiyal 7 places, Nirmal 2 and Adilabad and Karimnagar one each. In Andhra Pradesh, the NIA conducted searches in Kurnool and Nellore where the local people protested the move of the NIA and raised slogans.
The searches by the NIA on Sunday were at the houses of the PFI leaders, workers, sympathizers and others who were very vocal in supporting the PFI organization. Sources said the PFI are investigating the funding of the organization in Telangana and A.P as well.
The head office of the Popular Front of India is located in Chandrayangutta in the old city of Hyderabad. However, there is not much activity at the office except regular meetings, the source said. The PFI rather has a strong presence in the districts of erstwhile united Nizamabad, Adilabad and Karimnagar.
In fact, the PFI could not grow in Hyderabad due to the large sway of the youth directly with the political party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. In the past, there was an inclination of youth, a local Saidabad-based organization with a presence in Saiabad, Chanchalguda, Dabeerpura, Golconda and Chandrayangutta.
Over a period of time, the organization melted down and now only a handful of cadres are visible during a protest. The attendance at the self-defense training camps organized by the group came down over a period of time with the police keeping a constant vigil. However, so far the group was not linked to any major law and order problem in the city except for small protests on the Babri Masjid demolition anniversary and other instances when the community was targeted, police sources said.