It was good team work, they say.
The operation started post midnight and six control rooms were set up for the exercise. Most of the NIA teams have ‘now returned’ to different branches after carrying out Operation Midnight, sources said.
It was carried out ‘at night as part of a plan’ so that PFI activists and workers could not create a ruckus –something they are good at it. The Left-liberal sickular media too could not do much! Of course, the Union Home Ministry and top honchos were closely monitoring the entire crackdown.
Besides Home Minister Amit Shah, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) Dinkar Gupta and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were among the top officials who were aware of the plans and also had attended the high-level meeting.
Initially searches were ordered to be conducted in the ‘residential and official premises’ of persons/PFI hardliners involved in “radicalising” young minds, funding terror and organising training camps. Major focus was in Kerala and a few other neighbouring states.
It all began with a meeting among officials of the Ministry of Home and senior officials of key central agencies including ED and following which the mega crackdown on PFI was carried out.
The massive, multi-agency crackdown was planned and executed with near perfection by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Intelligence Bureau on September 19.
The agency personnel revealed that 106 people were arrested after NIA and ED and other agencies carried out the directives across 10 states in connection with anti-terror activities.
The probe agency also arrested Delhi PFI chief Parvez Ahmed and national chairman OMS Salam.
In terms of manpower planning and execution, around 200 NIA personnel, including four IGs, ADG, 16 SPs carried out the raids.
All dossiers of more than 200 PFI suspects have been handed over to the concerned team.
More than 150 mobile phones, over 50 laptops, incriminating material which includes documents, vision documents, and enrollment forms were also seized, it has been disclosed.
Kerala unit president CP Muhammad Basheer was arrested from Malappuram’s Manjer while Delhi PFI chief Parvez Ahmed’s brother was arrested from Okhla at 3.30 am on Thursday (Sept 22) morning.
Security has been beefed up outside NIA headquarters in Delhi and in some other vulnerable and sensitive areas.
Efforts to crackdown on fundraising did the trick:
These raids and arrest of top PFI leaders in 10 states were possible as the sleuths worked overtime to track ‘fundraising’ ingenious methodologies of the PFI leaders and their associates. The funds “collected’ would be “transferred at a later period” to the bank accounts of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and Rehab India Foundation (RIF) and other individuals and entities.
The funds were found to have been placed, layered and integrated and therefore projected as ‘untainted money’ in the banks. People with sound knowledge of banking rules, normal criminal laws and provisions of PMLA operated. This was being done as a part of a larger criminal conspiracy of PFI and its related entities to raise funds within the country and also abroad. The aim would be to carry out various unlawful activities.
The MHA and Home Minister Amit Shah were recently briefed by the central agencies that PFI was ‘covertly mobilizing funds’ through a well-organised network in Gulf countries.
The proceeds of crime were secretly and clandestinely sent to India through underground and illegal channels and through foreign remittances into the bank accounts of sympathizers and office bearers and even relatives and far-off associates in India.
With regard some reports from Telangana region, it was revealed that the PFI could be trying to plot terror activities and giving training to PFI activists to “identify and kill people from a particular religion”.
- Raids were carried out in multiple locations, especially in South India. Arrests were made from Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (9), Delhi (3), Karnataka (20), Kerala (22), Madhya Pradesh (4), Maharashtra (20), Puducherry (3), Rajasthan (2), Tamil Nadu (10) and Uttar Pradesh (8).
- In June 2022, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) had provisionally attached 23 bank accounts of PFI having collective balance of Rs. 59,12,051 and 10 bank accounts of PFI’s front organization Rehab India Foundation (RIF) having collective balance of Rs. 9,50,030 in the ongoing money laundering investigation against Popular Front of India (PFI) & its related organisations.