The National Investigation agency (NIA) on Friday filed two chargesheets in special courts against 68 activists of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in two separate cases in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, an official said. With these, the number of chargesheets filed by the agency against PFI members this month, has gone up to four.
The first chargesheet was filed in Jaipur in Rajasthan on March 13 and the second in Hyderabad in Telangana on March 16.
The official said a chargesheet was filed in the special court for NIA cases, Ernakulam-Kochi, against the PFI as an organisation and 58 accused persons, while 10 workers of the PFI, including state vice president Khalid Mohammad, were named in the chargesheet filed in the special NIA court in Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
“The chargesheets filed in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the two states where PFI is the most active, relate to separate criminal conspiracies hatched by PFI to carry out acts of violence with the ultimate objective of establishing an Islamic rule in India by 2047,” a spokesperson of the federal agency said.
In the Kerala case, which was registered against the PFI in September 2022, the NIA also included a connected case of a Palakkad resident, Sreenivasan, who was hacked to death by armed PFI members that year, the official said.
The spokesperson added that NIA investigations had shown that some of the accused in the PFI criminal conspiracy case (September 2022) have been involved in the Sreenivasan killing too.
In Kerala case, the NIA had arrested 16 of the accused after taking over the matter last year, while the others were arrested earlier by the state police, the official said.
The Kerala chargesheet has been filed after searches by the NIA at more than 100 locations in the state.
The NIA had attached 17 properties as they were identified as “proceeds of terrorism” and froze 18 bank accounts of the accused during the course of its investigation.
The spokesperson said some of the prominent PFI leaders and office bearers chargesheeted include state general secretary Abdul Sathar, state executive member Yahiya Koya Thangal, Ernakulam zonal secretary Shihas M H, district secretaries and president Sainudhen TS, Sadik AP and CT Sulaiman, and state general secretary SDPI P K Usman.
“Investigations in the case had revealed that the accused had been conspiring to drive a wedge between different communities and groups living in India, spread the concept of violent extremism and Jihad in India with the objective of dismembering the country and taking it over by establishing Islamic Rule in India by 2047,” the NIA said.
To achieve these objectives, the spokesperson said, the PFI had established various wings and units such as “reporters wing”, “physical and arms training wing” and “service or hit teams”.
“Investigations have revealed that PFI was using its various campuses, facilities and infrastructure to impart arms training to selected cadre in the guise of Physical Education, Yoga Training. They also established a ‘reporters wing’ and ‘service teams or hit teams’ to eliminate their targets,” the official said.
“Whenever required, PFI pressed into service its loyal and highly trained cadre of their ‘service teams’ as ‘executioners’ of the orders pronounced by their parallel courts, called ‘Dar-ul-Qaza’,” the spokesperson said.
The case in Tamil Nadu was also registered in September last year to probe the criminal conspiracy hatched by the PFI.
“NIA investigations in the case had shown that the accused had conducted radicalisation programmes to motivate, instigate and recruit gullible Muslim youth, who were then provided weapons training in training camps. PFI cadre used to carry out instructions of PFI office bearers and leaders to conduct recce and attack adversaries and commit unlawful and violent activities,” the spokesperson said.