Palakkad: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested the former state secretary of the Popular Front of India (PFI) CA Rauf from his house in the Palakkad district of Kerala, the agency said on Friday.
A senior agency official told ANI that Rauf, who had been absconding for several months, was arrested last night following a raid conducted by the agency at his residence in the Pattambi area in the Palakkad district.
Rauf was under the radar of Kerala Police as well as the NIA, and the agency officials intensified their attempt to arrest him after the Central government banned the PFI.
Officials said that Rauf had been hiding after the NIA launched a massive countrywide operation against the PFI and arrested its various cadres.
The move comes almost a month after the Centre declared the PFI an ‘unlawful association’ and banned it for the next five years, as well as directed all states and the Union Territories (UTs) to “exercise” powers of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the outfit and its affiliates.
In September, over 100 PFI cadres were arrested in multiple raids carried out across the country by the NIA, the Enforcement Directorate and state agencies as well as police forces based on findings about a number of “instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”.
The PFI and its associates are also charged for working covertly to increase the radicalization of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations.
The PFI is further accused of its involvement in several criminal and terror cases as well as sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country.
With funds and ideological support from outside, the PFI and its affiliates are further accused of becoming a major threat to the internal security of the country.
The PFI came into existence on December 9, 2006. Three south Indian Muslim fundamentalist outfits — the National Development Front (NDF), Kerala; the Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), Karnataka; and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu– rechristened the ‘South India Council’ (a Bangalore based organisation floated by NDF in 2004) as the ‘Popular Front of India’. (ANI)