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PFI news: Maharashtra cracks whip on PFI, SDPI activists, 32 arrested; DyCM Devendra Fadnavis says action was as per law

PFI banned: The police arrested as many as 32 PFI activists after raids in Mumbai and various districts of the state. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the Home department, told reporters that the action was as per law based on the investigation into their activities and evidence.

  • The Maharashtra Police cracked a whip on PFI and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India
  • The police arrested as many as 32 PFI activists after raids in Mumbai and various districts of the state
  • The Centre declared a ban on the Popular Front of India and its associates or affiliates with immediate effect

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PFI news: Maharashtra cracks whip on PFI, SDPI activists, 32 arrested; DyCM Devendra Fadnavis says action was as per law

Mumbai: Prior to putting a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates with immediate effect by the Centre, reports say that the Maharashtra Police on Tuesday cracked a whip on this organisation and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). The police arrested as many as 32 PFI activists after raids in Mumbai and various districts of the state. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the Home department, told reporters that the action was as per law based on the investigation into their activities and evidence, adding "Attempts were being made to create a division in society and weaken the country. This was being done systematically."

According to the government notification, "PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as a socio-economic, educational and political organization but, they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country." The notification said that the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been indulging in unlawfulactivities, which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the potential to disturb public peace and communal harmony of the country and support militancy in the country.

Also read: After NIA mega-raids, Centre bans Popular Front of India for 5 years

 

According to reports, 14 people were arrested from Aurangabad, six from Pune, one from Mumbai, four from Thane, two each from Nanded, Parbhani and Malegaon (in Nashik district) and one from Amravati. The police also arrested six people linked with the PFI and SDPI from the Kondhwa area under section 151 (3) (Arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) of the CrPC, said a PTI report, adding that these people were later released by a local court on bail.


In Mumbai, ex-SDPI chief and current general secretary Sayyed Chowdhary (52) was arrested from suburban Chembur on the information that he was allegedly involved in anti-national activities, a police official told PTI, adding that more raids and arrests are likely in Mumbai. Sayyed Chowdhary was produced before a local court which remanded him to judicial custody till October 6.

Also read: 'Secret agenda to radicalize, links with ISIS': Reasons why govt banned PFI

Thane Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Laxmikant Patil reportedly said that four PFI activists were arrested on Monday night in a joint operation carried out in the district by local police and crime branch officials, adding that two of the activists were nabbed from Mumbra and one each from Kalyan and Bhiwandi towns.

A senior official from Aurangabad said they had arrested 14 PFI members. Nashik Rural Superintendent of Police Sachin Patil said, "We have arrested two persons from Malegaon." Nanded's superintendent of police, Nisar Tamboli, also said they had arrested two persons. Amravati city police's crime branch arrested PFI district president Sohail Anwar Abdul Qadir alias Sohail Nadvi (38) from Chhayanagar, an official said.

Last week, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested 20 PFI members from different parts of the state in multi-agency raids. On Monday, the ATS arrested one more PFI activist from Nanded in the Marathwada region of the state.

Earlier on September 22, multi-agency teams spearheaded by the NIA arrested 106 PFI leaders and activists in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. The NIA is investigating 19 cases involving the PFI.  Five days after a similar pan-India crackdown against the group, accused of being linked to radical Islam, over 170 people allegedly linked with the PFI were detained or arrested in raids across seven states on Tuesday.

(With PTI/ANI Inputs)

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