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Saturday, August 02, 2014  

Kerala cops seek NIA probe into PFI activities after arms seizure
KA Antony

KANNUR The Popular Front of India (PFI), a political forum of the National Development Front (NDF), is once again under the scanner following the seizure of weapons and the arrest of 21 activists from an arms training centre at Narath, a Muslim populated area near Kannur a few days ago.

Though the PFI leaders have their own explanations, major political parties, including the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) are crying foul and demanding banning the organisation, which is suspected to have terror links and receiving foreign funds to create trouble in India and other countries in the Asian continent.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is most likely to take up the case as it has been mooted by the Kerala police.

While the Kerala police and the federal Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mullappally Ramachandran told Oman Tribune that the case requires a detailed inquiry as some of the Identity cards seized from the site of raid is proof enough to establish international terror links, the PFI leaders said they are getting ready for a state-level campaign to plead innocence. “We are being targeted just because we fight for social justice,” said PFI state general secretary K Sadath.

State Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and Director-General of Police (DGP) KS Balasubramaniyan said that the case will be handed over to NIA if required.

Police sources said that more raids will be conducted in the centres run by the PFI in the state.

According to the DGP, two among others arrested from the Narath training centre include PC Fahad and PV Aziz, who are most wanted criminals and having terror links in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand.

Aziz was absconding following the murder of Hindu Aikyavedi leader Aswinikumar of Punnad near Irritty in Kannur. Fahad, hailing from Echoor in Kannur is also a hardcore criminal, according to the police report sent to the federal ministry, asking for a detailed inquiry by the NIA.

 As per the report, the said PFI activists had been involved in several cases both in the south and north of India. The report, according to well placed sources, says that Aziz, like Thadiyantiveda Nazeer had got arms training in terror operative camps in Kerala and outside.

The police report has also suggested further inquiry into the international links of those arrested from Narath as ID cards of certain Iranian citizens were recovered from the arms training camp at Narath.

More lethal weapons were unearthed by the police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Kannur, P Sukumaran on a further raid conducted on Thursday at the house of Khamaruddin, who had escaped during the first raid at Narath.

PFI activists were taking out a march to the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) on the same day. Four swords, a hatchet, five iron rods and a nunchaku, a weapon used in karate training, were recovered from a secret vault on the attic of the house of Khamaruddin at Kummayakadavu near Mayyil, which is close to Narath.

PFI leaders were sulking for a few days following the second raid and the way all the political parties were rallying against them.

It was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who were first to demand a detailed probe into the activities of the PFI, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) and the IUML and its youth wing Muslim Youth League (MYL) were to follow suit.

IUML leader KM Shaji MLA and MYL state leaders KP Thahir and PK Subair also demanded a clean probe into the foreign funding and secretive operations of the PFI.

“They have been creating trouble since the last several years. The chopping of the palm of a lecturer with the Thodupuzha Newman’s College and the way they are trying to create terror in a democratic land to create its own space has to be seen as something serious and dangerous,” said MYL leaders.

BJP Kannur district president K Renjith said that it was the CPM and the Muslim League who are protecting and promoting the PFI.

Countering his claim CPM politburo member and former state home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that his party has no role in supporting the PFI. “CPM stands for social justice and it’s our people who are being targeted by the RSS, NDF and the Congress,” he said.

The CPM, on the other hand is also facing criticism from its own cadres following frequent attack from PFI activists. This newspaper had reported earlier that Communist families are fleeing from Kalliyiasseri and Pappinisseri that had always withstood the testing times and proved an impregnable forte of the party. 

Justifying its stand, PFI leaders said that the training camps conducted by it are aimed to promote a healthy living concept. “Though we are against idol worship, we too practice yoga and other healthy way of living in a world which is fast turning into a furnace,” said Sadath.

He also said that everybody is against the PFI as it is growing fast and doesn’t care about the fake cases being charged against their activists.

“As far as I know, all the 21 activists, who had been practicing yoga had surrendered to the police team that had raided the centre owing to pressure from some IUML leaders, who are very keen on arresting our growth,” he said adding that besides fighting the cases legally, the PFI leaders will be meeting all the ministers and leaders of other political parties to clarify its stand.

But the police rejected all these claims by the PFI leader. They said that the arrested PFI activists knew nothing about yoga.

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