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Crackdown on PFI: 'Raids were planned in 2 high-level meetings; operation's secrecy was security officials' top priority'

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crackdown on pfi: 'raids were planned in 2 high-level meetings; operation's secrecy was security officials' top priority' © Provided by Times Now crackdown on pfi: 'raids were planned in 2 high-level meetings; operation's secrecy was security officials' top priority'

New Delhi: In a massive crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI), National Investigation Agency (NIA)-led multi-agency teams on Thursday nabbed 106 leaders and activists of the radical Islamic outfit in near-simultaneous raids in 15 states for allegedly backing terror activities in the country.

Raids were conducted in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.

News agency IANS mentioned sources as saying that details of the plan were discussed extensively in two high-level meetings between Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials and the central agencies.

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On August 29, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with NIA, Enforcement Directorate, and Intelligence Bureau officials, according to sources affiliated with the NIA. The meeting was also attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla.

In order to counter the PFI, all the agencies were asked to prepare a report. Instructions were also given to take action against those associated with PFI.

The Ministry of Home Affairs held a meeting on September 19 with the officers of the investigating agencies after all the central agencies had completed their preparations. It was ordered that all agencies conduct raids in coordination.

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After that, PFI cadres' homes and offices were raided. The raids started at 3:30 am.

Over 250 officers and staff of investigating agencies were involved in the proceedings, as per the information.

PFI national chairman OMS Salam and Delhi PFI chief Parvez Ahmed were also arrested by the NIA. All of these individuals have been accused of terror funding, organising terrorist camps, and teaching bigotry to people.

Keeping the operation undercover was the top priority of the security officials, who held discreet meetings with their counterparts.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kochi earlier this month for the commissioning of aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval met with the Kerala Police, reported news agency ANI.

According to instructions from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the NSA led the operation. Following his visit to Kerala, the NSA travelled to Mumbai in Maharashtra where he held meetings with the city's security officials at the Governor's House.

ANI mentioned sources as saying that the plan to take action against the PFI began three to four months ago.

The NIA and MHA had been monitoring the activities of the PFI for quite some time, said IANS. The NIA had demanded a ban on the PFI for its involvement in terrorist activities in a detailed report submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2017. A number of states have also called for a ban on the PFI.

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