In a major development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against a Kerala-based journalist named Siddique Kappan in a money laundering case. He was arrested by the UP Police on October 5 while he was proceeding to cover the Hathras case.
Besides Kappan, the ED had also filed cases against five other office bearers of radical Islamist outfit PFI (Popular Front of India) and CFI (Campus Front of India) in connection to the money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate has stated in its charge sheet that Siddique Kappan, CFI leader Rauf Sherif and other accused collected overseas funds to the tune of ₹1.36 crores and sent it back to India through fraudulent transactions.
The ED emphasised that the money was used to fund anti-CAA protests, and violence during the Anti-CAA riots. “The visit of these PFI/CFI members (to Hathras) was under the instructions of K. A. Rauf Sherif, national general secretary of the CFI and a member of the PFI, and funds for the same were also provided,” the charge sheet emphasised. It further stated, “Rauf and his PFI/CFI associates also received and possessed the said proceeds of crime in their bank accounts as well as in the form of cash.”
Five accused named, Masud bought car worth 2.25 lacs
The Enforcement Directorate reiterated, “The fraudulent remittance of funds in the manner was in furtherance of a larger conspiracy to utilise the proceeds of crime in funding anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, and more specifically in the purported visit of PFI/CFI members by putting to use proceeds of crime for disturbing communal harmony, instigating riots and spreading terror.
The ED took over the case to investigate the money laundering angle after Uttar Pradesh police filed a charge sheet against Siddique Kappan while he was trying to stir caste-based violence in the aftermath of the Hathras case. Kappan was arrested in October 2020 while Rauf Sherif was arrested on December 12 last year. In the charge sheet, three other accused identified as Mohammed Alam (CFI/PFI member), Masud Ahmed (Delhi CFI General secretary) and Athikur Rahman (CFI national treasurer) have also been named.
The central investigative agency stated that Masud had bought a car worth 2.25 lacs to travel to Hathras, 15 days prior to their arrest. It added, “Further, investigation has revealed that PFI has been involved in anti-CAA protests and several PFI members/activists were also arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with their investigation in the said Delhi riots case. For instance, Md. Danish, a PFI member was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with investigations in FIR no. 59/2020.”
Siddique Kappan hailed Osama bin Laden as ‘martyr’
In its affidavit to the apex court, the Uttar Pradesh government informed that Kappan was using the garb of journalism to create a caste divide and law & order disturbance in the State. Kappan was associated with the radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and a banned terrorist organisation named Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
The Uttar Pradesh government had submitted a copy of a front-page story by Kappan in Thejas, dating back to November 30, 2011, wherein he claimed that Al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden was a ‘martyr’. The government revealed that Siddique Kappan was the mastermind of several other riots, who in collusion with Thejas Editors, wanted to create religious unrest in the State of Kerala.