The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted a raid at 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. ED has not released any statement yet. Residences of four other national leaders in Kozhikode, Malappuram, and Ernakulam districts were also raided.
Kerala: Enforcement Directorate conducts raid at locations of OMA Salam, Chairman Popular Front of India and PFI National Secretary, Nasaruddin Elamaram, in Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2020
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.
PFI’s links to anti-CAA protests under the scanner
The central investigation agency is 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 varies from Rs5,000 to Rs49,000. The amounts have been kept below Rs50,000 in order to [not] disclose the identity of depositor.”
In the note, accessed by Hindustan Times, it was mentioned that Rs. 1.34 crore was withdrawn from these 15 accounts from December 4, 2019, to January 6, 2020, by way of cash and NEFT/IMPS using mobile. Small amounts of Rs.2,000 and Rs.5,000 were withdrawn on several occasions during that period. On December 12 and December 21, when the protests were being held in Uttar Pradesh, around 90 withdrawals were made from a single account.
The note further added, “The money trail has proved beyond doubt that PFI has mobilised the money to finance the cost of demonstration/gherao against CAA Bill till 06.01.2020. Further investigation to trace money trail from other bank accounts is continuing.”
PFI denied allegations
The organization has denied the allegations. Many PFI leaders are facing a probe by Delhi Police in the Delhi Riots cases. Recently, 4 persons associated with PFI, including a man from Kerala named Siddiqe Kappan, were arrested under UAPA for trying to stir up caste violence in Hathras. It is also accused of running indoctrination camps across Kerala.
PFI was founded in 2006 in Kerala.