NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that the Popular Front of India (PFI) had planned to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna and was engaged in raising terror modules, collection of deadly weapons and explosives to simultaneously launch attacks on sensitive places and individuals in UP.
In a sensational claim made in its remand note against PFI member Shafeeque Payeth, arrested from Kerala Thursday, the ED has said the outfit had organised a training camp to launch an attack during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Patna on July 12 this year.
Significantly, PM Modi had a close shave in Patna in October 2013 when jehadi terrorists belonging to Indian Mujahideen, which, just like PFI, has in its ranks members of the outlawed Students’ Islamic Movement in India, bombed a rally he addressed immediately afterwards.
ED has found details of Rs 120 crore collected by the outfit over the years, mostly in cash and meant to channelise the funds for creating riots and terror activities across the country.
The agency has arrested four PFI members after Thursday’s nationwide raids on the outfit during which several agencies, including the National Investigation Agency, arrested more than 100 activists associated with the outfit.
Three other office bearers of the organisation were taken into custody by the ED from Delhi – Perwez Ahmed, Md. Ilias and Abdul Muqeet. All of them have been questioned by the agency multiple times since 2018 when a money laundering probe was launched against PFI.
The Enforcement Directorate has accused Payeth, who once lived in Qatar, of illegally using his NRI account in India to transfer money to PFI from abroad for creating disturbances in the country. Payeth’s premises were earlier raided by the agency last year when investments in real estate businesses and their diversion to PFI was revealed, according to ED.
“More than Rs 120 crore have been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the years and a very large part of the same has been deposited in cash from unknown and suspicious sources within the country as well as abroad,” the agency has said.
The agency further claimed that “these funds were layered and transferred for eventual use in their continuous unlawful activities over time which include but are not limited to inciting violence and fomenting trouble leading to Delhi riots of February 2020, visit of PFI members to Hathras with an intent to disturb communal harmony, inciting riots and spreading terror, planned to form a terror gang, collection of deadly weapon and explosives to simultaneously launch attacks on important and sensitive places and individuals in UP with an intent to undermine the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.”
The agency has accused PFI of criminal conspiracy and activities that had the potential “to pose threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation”. During probe, various bank accounts of PFI and its members were analysed and statements of the accused recorded.