PFI’s Northeast Secretary Among 10 Detained in Assam in Nationwide Anti-Terror Raids

Popular Front Leader (PFI)’s northeast regional secretary was picked up from his residence in Assam on Thursday as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) launched massive crackdown on the outfit for alleged involvement terror activities in the country. A total of 10 PFI members have been detained from Assam.

The NIA carried out the raid in the wee hours of September 22 at House No. 26 in Friends Path of Hatigaon area in Guwahati and took PFI’s northeast regional secretary Aminul Haque into custody in connection with terror funding, organising training camps and radicalising people.

One Rahmatullah Khan was picked up from his residence in Samaguri of Nagaon district during the NIA searches.
The Assam Police released a statement in the afternoon, “These leaders of the organisation were arrested as there is reliable information that they were making all out efforts to foment communal strife throughout the state of Assam. They were indulging in whipping the communal passion and sentiments of the religious minority by criticising every policy of the government with communal overtones which include the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC)…”

The leaders have been extensively using social media to provoke the people for defying the government and to divide the society on religious lines. They were instigating people against the government with the aim to spread mistrust among public, the police stated further.

“These leaders were also trying to spread communal feelings in Muslim-dominated pockets of Barpeta, Goalpara, Badarpur by whipping their sentiments on the issue of communal violence, Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti that took place in Rajasthan,” the statement read.

Others held during the NRI raids in Assam are Aminul Hoque, Abdul Razzak, Robiul Hussain, Nazrul Islam Bhuyan, Rafiqul Isla, Abu Sama Ahmed, Farhad Ali, Khalilur Rahman, Mufti Rahmatullah and Bazlul Karim.

The detainees have been taken to the Special Branch of the Assam Police where they are being interrogated.

In 2019, the Assam Police arrested PFI’s Assam Chief Aminul Haque for conspiring, planning and facilitating violence in the state during the CAA protests in Guwahati. They then also arrested Haque’s close aide and press secretary Mujamil Haque. According to the police report, both were involved in the attack on Dispur Secretariat.

Sources in 2019 hinted that the banned Islamic organisation along with few others played a key role in creating violence at several places in Assam in which four people lost their lives due to police firing.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had earlier informed that the state government has asked the Centre to impose an immediate and complete ban on PFI for its direct involvement in “subversive activities and radicalisation”.

In the recent Batadraba Police station arsenal incident, Sarma had indicated that the violence was orchestrated by PFI, alleging their hand in communal violence in Assam, and called for their ban, including its student wing, the Campus Front of India.

“I have asked the Union home minister (Amit Shah) to ban the outfit. However, banning an organisation needs several legal measures. I hope the Centre gives this request due consideration,” Sarma had said then.

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