Assam Police continues crackdown on PFI, nabs one more leader

Guwahati, Sep 23: One more Popular Front of India (PFI) leader has been arrested by the special operations unit of Assam Police amidst an intensified crackdown against the Islamic non-profit organisation, official sources said here on Friday.

The arrested person has been identified as Minarul Seikh, who is the PFI state president of West Bengal.

So far, 11 PFI leaders and workers have been arrested under Sections 120B, 124 (A), 153(A), and 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in connection with a case registered by the special operations unit of Assam Police in February this year.

“Seikh will be produced before the chief judicial magistrate’s (CJM) court here along with Bazrul Karim, a state executive committee member (PFI) and general secretary of the Barak Valley district committee, PFI, who was arrested on Thursday by Karimganj police,” a statement said.

On Thursday, as many as 10 PFI leaders were arrested from separate locations in Assam on a day when nationwide raids were simultaneously launched in reportedly 15 states by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate and state police forces against the organisation over alleged terror funding.

According to official sources here, the PFI leaders were arrested on the basis of “reliable information that they were making all-out efforts to foment communal strife throughout the state of Assam.”

An official statement said that the arrested PFI leaders were found to be actively involved in the conspiracy of propagating anti-establishment propaganda with communal overtones with a view to polarising people on religious lines throughout the state and vitiating the atmosphere, thus posing a serious threat to the internal security of the country.

According to reports, the arrested persons were misleading local Muslim youths by taking up issues which occurred outside the state and campaigning through social media platforms.

Nine of the 10 arrested PFI leaders were produced before the CJM court on Thursday evening and subsequently remanded to five days’ police custody.

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