The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has suspended its employee and Popular Front of India (PFI) chairman Muhammed Abdul Salam Ovungal citing ‘grave misconduct’, a report published by Times Now said. Ovungal served as a Senior Assistant in Manjeri Electrical Circle of the KSEB.
The KSEB, in a letter notifying suspension of Ovungal, also known as OMA Salam, stated that the during the inquiry, it came to light that Muhammed Abdul Salam Ovungal was also holding the office of the chairman of a banned outfit under the scanner of various investigative agencies for its alleged activities and suspicious fund transactions.
The letter also said, “It has also been substantiated that the accused has made several foreign trips without the prior sanction.”
Enforcement Directorate raids locations belonging to PFI in a money-laundering case
Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided as many as 26 locations across the country belonging to the Popular Front of India(PFI) in connection with a money laundering case. Salam’s residence was one of the locations where ED sleuths had conducted the raid.
Following the raid at his residence, Salam had alleged that the central government was using the ED to divert people’s attention away from the ongoing farmers’ protests.
“ED carries out raids at PFI leaders’ house. Heinous attempt to divert the Farmers Issue and hide the failure of the BJP Govt. Another example of using constitutional institutions as an instrument to pressurise the opponents. Such actions can’t stop us from raising voice for justice or weaken democratic fights for rights,” Salam wrote on Twitter.
Well said Anis. #ED conducts searches in #PFI leaders’ houses. Heinous attempt to divert the #FarmersIssue and hide failure of #BjpGovt. Another exmaple of using const institutions as political tools. Such actions cannot stop us from rising voice for justice https://t.co/NUUIQTsTJG— O M A Salam, Chairman PFI (@oma_salam) December 3, 2020
The other places where ED carried out raids included the residence of Popular Front of India (PFI) National Executive Council member Karamana Ashraf Moulavi at Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram. The ED had registered a case against PFI leaders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2018
The PFI and its associate organisation SDPI have been constantly under probe for allegations of terrorist recruitment, crime, forced conversions and anti-India activities. Reports stated that ED is conducting raids at 26 locations in the country in 9 states.
ED probing PFI’s links to the anti-CAA protests in the country
Besides money laundering case, the central investigation agency is also looking into the PFI’s links on alleged charges of funding and supporting anti-CAA protests in the country and other instances. In January, ED had submitted a note to the Union Home Ministry and stated a direct link between the dates of deposits/withdrawals of money from the bank accounts of PFI and those of demonstrations against the CAA.
The note further said, “It has been noticed that Rs1.04 crores were deposited in 15 bank accounts of PFI (10) and Rehab India Foundation (5) during the period starting from 04.12.2019 till 06.01.2020. The deposits were in form of cash and IMPS using mobile and deposit amounts vary from Rs 5,000 to Rs 49,000. The amounts have been kept below Rs 50,000 in order to [not] disclose the identity of the depositor.”