Popular Front of India Tuesday has condemned the raids by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the “unjust arrest, harassment,”and “the witch-hunting against the members, and supporters of the organisation” in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The Muslim group was responding to a major crackdown by NIA against its activities.
The NIA on Sunday raided 38 locations across Telangana. Searches were conducted at 23 locations in Nizamabad, four in Hyderabad, seven in Jagityal, two in Nirmal, and one each in Adilabad and Karimnagar. Searches were also held in one location each in Kurnool and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh.
“These raids are part of the ongoing harassment against the members of the organisation in the states. In July, Telangana Police summoned the martial arts master Abdul Khader under the pretext of questioning. Later, he and two other innocents were arrested in a false case,” said PFI national secretary, VP Nasarudheen Elamaram.
“Recently, as per the malevolent design and under the directives of MHA, the NIA took over and turned it into a terror case. Abdul Khader was a martial arts trainer by profession for decades and has been conducting martial arts training for his students from across the state. He was targeted because he belonged to the Muslim community. The transfer of investigation to the NIA is nothing but the political game of MHA for the upcoming State Assembly elections in Telangana to appease the majoritarian vote bank and this whole episode underpins the agenda of communal polarisation,” he said.
“NIA is using this false case to target innocent members of the organization from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The agency is following the same modus operandi of fabricating false cases and implicating innocents and building a terror narrative, as it tried in Bihar to satisfy its political masters,” said Elamaram.
The police arrested Abdul Kader, Sheikh Sahadulla, Md Imran and Md.Abdul Mobin in the case. They were then booked under section 13(1)(b) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) apart from Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120A, 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 141 read with 34 (unlawful assembly) at the Nizamabad sixth town police station.
According to an NIA statement, its searches in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh led to the unearthing of incriminating material including digital devices, documents, two daggers, and Rs 8,31,500 in cash. The agency has detained four persons for questioning.
“NIA’s press release after the raid drama is nothing but the rehash of its usual allegations. The truth is, in Bihar or Telangana, there wasn’t even a minor incident of crime that warranted arrests or federal investigation. The NIA’s baseless claims and sensationalism are solely aimed at creating an atmosphere of terror. People are starting to realise this,” added said PFI national secretary, VP Nasarudheen Elamaram.
“This is a vicious abuse of power to suppress minority rights movements. Popular Front is not an organisation that will bend or compromise its principles in the apprehension of these scare tactics. Our voice for justice will continue. The organisation will expose the truth before the people of the country,” he said.