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NIA arrests a fruit seller used by PFI to source info on RSS, BJP events, earlier ISIS admitted to recruiting PFI terrorists

On January 17, the NIA launched searches in the Kollam district and detained Muhammed Sadik, a Mannezhathuthara resident. Sadik, a fruit seller by profession, was roped in to gather information on RSS, BJP events in Kollam district of Kerala.

On Friday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed that the now-banned Islamist organization named the Popular Front of India (PFI) had asked a local fruit seller identified as Mohammed Sadik to gather information about the RSS and BJP programs in the Kollam district of Kerala. The fruit seller was arrested by the agency on January 17.

According to the reports, the PFI members had employed the 40-year-old fruit seller as a ‘reporter’ who was supposed to collect details about leaders of other communities for possible targeting by ‘hit squads’ of the PFI.

On January 17, the NIA launched searches in the Kollam district and detained Muhammed Sadik, a Mannezhathuthara resident. Sadik, a father of two, lived with his family and is presently in legal detention. The NIA is interviewing him to learn more about other informants.

According to reports, the NIA discovered that the PFI radicalized numerous locals including Sadik, and referred to them as ‘reporters’ after assigning them a duty to gather information. Reports mention that Sadik is a high school dropout who met several PFI members in 2012. He was radicalized by them and chose to join the PFI. He was working as a fruit seller when they instructed him to gather all information on RSS and BJP activities. They also particularly requested that he gather information regarding the RSS and BJP event’s attendee list.

The NIA during the searches conducted on January 17 recovered pamphlets of several RSS events and guest lists from his possession. “The case pertains to activities of the PFI, its office-bearers, members, and affiliates in Kerala for conspiring to indulge in unlawful activities by creating enmity between members of different religions and groups and encouraging vulnerable youth to join terrorist organizations, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daesh and al-Qaida conspiracy to establish Islamic rule in India by committing terrorist acts as a part of violent jihad,” NIA said.

According to the NIA official, investigations have revealed that the PFI had assigned the job of a ‘reporter’ to Sadik. During the searches, digital devices and several incriminating documents have also been seized from the house of the accused.

Meanwhile, the mouthpiece of the terrorist organization ISIS named the Voice of Khorasan released its 20th issue of the magazine to come out openly in support of the PFI. The magazine stated that several PFI activists had ‘shahadat’ (martyrdom) while supporting ISIS in its terror activities across the world.

One of the articles in the magazine also encouraged PFI members to take up guns to further their evil goals, as carrying banners against the Indian government would not suffice. It also used aggressive language towards Hindus, declaring that ‘cow worshipers’ and ‘polytheists’ must be handled using weaponry and that protests against the government are not an option. 

The propaganda article also discusses the PFI rebuilding despite the ban and turning to terror rather than protests to carry out their objective. The Centre enforced a five-year prohibition on the PFI and its related businesses under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) on September 28, 2022, considering their links to ISIS.

Despite a five-year ban, PFI is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for its involvement in subversive anti-India operations. The PFI, which was founded in 2006, came under scrutiny for anti-national actions, and pan-India searches were undertaken last year under ‘Operation Octopus,’ leading to the arrest of numerous PFI officials. 

The NIA’s most recent raid occurred on January 17, when PFI activist Mohammad Sadik was arrested in the Chavara region of Kerala’s Kollam district. In addition to Kerala, arrests have been made in Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Assam.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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