The Navi Mumbai Police arrested a 68-year-old Hindu man earlier this week for planting notes writing “PFI Zindabad” outside flats in a bid to implicate his Muslim neighbours.
The Popular Front of India is a Muslim organisation that was banned for five years in September under the draconian UAPA. Hundreds of Muslim men were arrested under anti-terror laws following the ban.
On 23 June, residents of the Nil Angan Cooperative Housing Society in New Panvel’s Sector 19 noticed handwritten notes hailing PFI stuck near the doorbells of some flats, reports Scroll. A society resident found two notes bearing the number ‘786’ and two firecrackers commonly used during Diwali, reported Mid Day.
The accused was identified as Eknath Kawde. Kawde is the secretary of the housing society.
The Khandeshwar police in Navi Mumbai alleged that Kawde, planted the notes outside some flats after he had a dispute with the flat owners. One of the flat owners, a Hindu, had rented the house to a Muslim family, and Kawde wanted to implicate them.
Kawde was arrested on June 28 under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with giving provocation with the intent to cause rioting, Scroll reported.
“He has confessed to the crime and legal action will be taken,” said Police Inspector Chandrakant Landge.
Kawde earlier told the police that the notes may have been placed on the doors by the Muslim family or visitors at their home.
The cops scrutinised CCTV footage from the second floor and terrace of the building, and saw Kawde making multiple trips to the terrace. Police questioned Kawde about his “suspicious movements”, after which he confessed to his actions, the police said.