Nationwide raids on Muslim group PFI in India, over 100 arrested | Police Information
India’s prime investigation companies have carried out nationwide raids on a outstanding Muslim organisation and detained greater than 100 of its members, accusing them of getting terror hyperlinks.
The simultaneous raids on the workplaces of the Common Entrance of India (PFI) and houses of its members have been carried out by the federally managed Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in almost a dozen states on Thursday morning.
Many of the arrests have been made within the southern states. In Kerala, the place PFI enjoys appreciable affect in Muslim-majority areas, 22 folks have been arrested.
Arrests have been additionally made in Maharashtra and Karnataka (20 every), Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (9), Delhi (3), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry (3), Tamil Nadu (10), Uttar Pradesh (8) and Rajasthan (2), in response to Indian media reviews.
India’s NDTV community mentioned not less than 4 PFI members have been charged below the Illegal Actions Prevention Act (UAPA), a stringent terror regulation below which an individual can spend years in jail with out trial because the laws has powerful bail provisions.
The PFI was established in 2007 after the merger of three Muslim teams – the Nationwide Democratic Entrance in Kerala, the Karnataka Discussion board for Dignity in Karnataka, and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu.
In 2009, the organisation shaped its political wing, the Social Democratic Get together of India (SDPI), to contest elections.
PFI says it really works for the rights of Muslims and different marginalised communities in India. However right-wing Hindu teams, together with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) accuses the group of violent assaults on its members.
‘Totalitarian regime utilizing companies as puppets’
Federal minister Giriraj Singh accused PFI of “working towards India” and counterpart Ramdas Athawale mentioned the group was “linked to terror organisations”.
“We don’t have issues with working an organisation or bringing collectively Muslim neighborhood. However taking the identify of this nation and spreading terrorism, then there’s a must take motion. I welcome the NIA and ED raids,” Athawale instructed reporters.
“PFI ought to change itself in the event that they wish to stay in India … They need to stand with India.”
However the PFI referred to as the NIA and ED raids a “witch hunt” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist authorities.
“Common Entrance won’t ever ever give up on any scary motion by a totalitarian regime utilizing the central companies as its puppets and can stand agency on its will for recovering the democratic system and spirit of the structure of our beloved nation,” it mentioned within the assertion shared with Al Jazeera.
The raids sparked protests in a number of elements of Kerala, the place the PFI has referred to as for a strike on Friday.
Rights activists have accused the federal government of utilizing investigative companies to harass and intimidate teams crucial of its insurance policies. Muslim organisations have notably come below assault and are sometimes accused of terror hyperlinks, they mentioned.
“There are Hindu supremacist organisations and their leaders who’re frequently giving calls of violence towards Muslims. How come their organisations face no scrutiny in any respect, not to mention raids and all? These individuals are allowed to go free, they don’t seem to be punished,” activist Kavita Krishnan instructed Al Jazeera.
Krishnan mentioned the raids – which she described as “Islamophobic profiling” – have been paying homage to those carried out towards one other Muslim group, the College students Islamic Motion of India (SIMI) in 2000.
“We all know what occurred because of these raids (on SIMI). So many harmless individuals who weren’t implicated in any crime have been profiled and implicated in so many instances. They have been acquitted a lot later in these instances and located harmless. They unnecessarily needed to spend time in jail,” she mentioned.
“The hazard is that PFI can also be going to end in the same type of scenario.”
SIMI, which was shaped in 1976, was banned quickly after the 9/11 assaults in the US. Many individuals alleged to be linked with the group have been arrested on terrorism prices. Most of them have been freed after spending years in jail and the courts not discovering any proof towards them.
In a single incident in 2001, 127 Muslim males have been arrested throughout a seminar in Gujarat state and accused of terror hyperlinks. Final yr, an area courtroom acquitted all the males, declaring them harmless. 5 of them died throughout the trial.
“I really feel if there’s a particular allegation towards a selected crime towards a selected particular person, pursue that. However branding whole organisations and ideologies as felony is one thing that the Supreme Court docket has repeatedly mentioned shouldn’t be accomplished. Even belonging to an organisation can’t be against the law,” mentioned Krishnan.