Popular Front of India has condemned simultaneous raids which were carried out by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at the houses of Popular Front national leaders across the country on Thursday.
“We believe this to be a politically motivated action from the part of the agency. Such raids usually happen in our country whenever the government in power comes under the pressure of popular anger and it wants to divert national attention from it,” PFI said in an official note.
The ED on Thursday conducted almost simultaneous searches at least 26 PFI premises in nine states including houses of national chairman M.M. Salam and national secretary Nasarudeen Elamaram.
The searches are being conducted in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Kerala.
According to ED sources, the raids are being carried out under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED in New Delhi was investigating at least two anti-money laundering cases against the PFI.
Popular Front accused Narendra Modi government of always using national agencies against its political opponents and to crush dissent in the country to the point that the credibility of these agencies has come under question.
According to PFI, today’s raids at the houses of the Popular Front leaders too have followed this pattern.
“The central government has come under immense pressure following the farmers’ protests blockading Delhi and the ED raids are nothing but a gimmick to divert the issue,” Popular Front said.
PFI also said the raids are part of the witch-hunt going on against activists and groups who are at the forefront of citizenship agitations.
“The authorities intend to prevent the organization from its fight against the anti-constitutional CAA-NRC, as it is a forerunner and stays a major force in the citizenship agitations across the country,” it said.
While condemning these attempts to malign the organization, PFI said that at the same time, Popular Front doesn’t see anything surprising or shocking about it.
“As a democratically and legally working organization in the country, our activities are transparent and out in the public. We have nothing to hide. The organization will face it legally and democratically. These actions will not stop us from raising our voice seeking justice, nor will it weaken the ongoing democratic struggles,” it asserted.