Hours after Uttar Pradesh Police”s Special Task Force claimed that two members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) who “were planning a series of terrorist attacks at various places in the country” were arrested with a huge quantity of explosives, PFI strongly condemned the arrests of its members and alleged that UP STF is “creating a ridiculous fake story of terror attack.”
According to Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, “Anshad Badruddin and Firoz Khan have been arrested from Kukrail trisection in Gudamba area here. With their arrest, the STF has foiled a series of terrorist attacks in various parts of the country on Basant Panchmi by terrorist organisation PFI. A huge quantity of high-quality explosives has been recovered from them.”
He also told media that the explosive devices include battery and red wire, a .32 bore pistol, seven live cartridges, cash, PAN card, four ATM cards, pen drives, metro card, driving licenses and Aadhar cards were recovered from their possession.
According to the ADG, the STF was getting information for the past few days that PFI members were involved in a criminal conspiracy to challenge unity, integrity and harmony of the country and wage a war against the government.
An FIR against them is being lodged by the STF in Lucknow.
Refuting UP STF’s claims, Popular Front of India General Secretary Anis Ahmed said that both the persons are residents of Kerala and had visited West Bengal and Bihar for the expansion work of the organization.
“On 11th February morning 5:40 am both of them boarded a train from Katihar, Bihar to Mumbai. As per their families they last contacted them on the evening of 11th Feb after which they were not reachable on their phone. Their family had filed a complaint at local police station in Kerala on 16th Feb morning,” he said.
Ahmed added that “it was after filing the complaint by family that the UP STF hurriedly called a press conference and presented this fabricated story of their arrest and the imaginary terror attacks.”
“A fake story is being created by the UP police which is known for making film scripts to justify it’s illegal activities. The arrest of Anshad and Firoz on 11th Feb by the UP police and presenting them to media on 16th Feb is yet another attempt by the UP gov’t to create a fake narrative of “threat to national security”,” PFI national leader said in an official note.
He also accused that “it is now evident that on 11th evening while, the train was running through UP, both of them might have been kidnapped by the UP STF at any of the railway station in UP and kept in illegal custody and tortured.”
The organisation demanded a CBI enquiry on this arrest and alleged that “the STF itself is the culprit in this case.”
“The organisation will avail all legal and democratic means to release its members and also defeat the nefarious plans of the BJP and RSS,” Ahmed said.
PFI leader noted that the BJP led UP state government is known to target dissent and the CM Yogi Adityanath himself has made his intention clear to target Popular Front.
“The fascist government led by Yogi Adityanath had earlier tried to label Popular Front state adhoc committee members as the mastermind of the alleged anti-CAA protest violence which the police failed to prove in the court resulting in the Popular Front adhoc committee members getting released on bail. Later the UP police also tried to link Popular Front to an imaginary “incitement of caste violence” at Hathras by arresting 3 student organization activists and a journalist who were travelling to meet the family of the Hathras rape victim,” he said.
Popular Front said it will not be intimidated by such attempts by the BJP led government at state and centre.