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Rajasthan: Mohammad Sohail arrested by NIA in PFI conspiracy case, says he is closely associated with Kanhaiya Lal’s killer Gaus Mohammed

Mohammad Sohail is the Udaipur district president of SDPI, the political wing of the Islamist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) which has been banned in various states for extremist activities.

In a crackdown on PFI, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) made its third arrest from Jaipur in Rajasthan. Mohammad Sohail was arrested on Friday for his active involvement in the PFI’s criminal conspiracy, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

Mohammad Sohail is the Udaipur district president of SDPI, the political wing of the Islamist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) which has been banned in various states for extremist activities.

Mohammad Sohail, according to the agency, is closely affiliated with Gaus Mohammed, one of the primary accused in the Kanhaiya Lal murder case in Udaipur. Sohail, a Udaipur resident, is accused of plotting with members of the now-banned Islamist organisation PFI to radicalise Muslim youth for violent and unlawful acts. According to the NIA, Sohail gave provocative speeches and raised slogans to incite violence, animosity, and hatred among religious communities in India.

This is Rajasthan’s third arrest in the PFI case. In this instance, the NIA had in September last year, detained two others, Sadiq Sarraf and Mohammed Asif from the state.

It may be recalled that on September 22, 2022, the Centre enforced a five-year prohibition on the PFI and its related businesses under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA), 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. 

Continuing the crackdown, the NIA, last month, carried out raids at nine different locations all across Rajasthan in relation to the alleged conspiracy cases. During the operations in Jaipur, Kota, and Sawai Madhopur, the NIA confiscated phones, SIM cards, sharp-edged blades, incriminating material, literature, and posters.

Simultaneously, NIA conducted another raid in Kerala on January 17, when PFI activist Mohammad Sadik was arrested in the Chavara region of Kerala’s Kollam district. According to the federal agency, Sadik was assigned the task to gather information about the RSS and BJP programs in the Kollam district of Kerala. During the searches conducted, the federal agency had also recovered pamphlets of several RSS events and guest lists from his possession. 

In addition to Kerala, arrests have been made in Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Assam.

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OpIndia Staff
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