The sleuths of Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) conducted state-wide raids on the inputs of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and picked up over half a dozen alleged Popular Front of India (PFI) members and detained them for interrogation.
However, no disclosure was made by the UP Police in this regard yet.
Sources said that the NIA arrested 106 people while conducting raids across the country in connection with running a training camp after terror funding.
According to sources, Mohammad Wasim alias Babloo, a resident of Indira Nagar, Lucknow, has been taken into custody by the ATS during a raid in the state capital.
Wasim runs a tailoring shop and during the raids, digital documents have been recovered from him. Wasim's father, Salim, said that his son was second among his three sons. He lived with them in Malhaur four years ago and used to work in their tailor's shop but later he started running his own shop by staying in Indira Nagar.
Earlier also, Wasim was taken into custody by the police during the demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens. It was alleged that Wasim had played an important role in the violent demonstration in Lucknow on December 19, 2019.
Apart from Lucknow, the NIA also conducted raids in Barabanki, Varanasi and Bahraich. According to ATS sources, two activists of the Popular Front of India residing in Jaitpura and Adampur areas of Varanasi were taken into custody for questioning.
It may be mentioned that on September 12, the court of the district judge of Varanasi had ordered that the hearing of the Gyanvapi Shringar Gauri case would continue. In this regard, OMA Salam, chairman of Popular Front of India, had issued a statement saying that the decision of the Varanasi district judge to uphold the petition of Hindu devotees given for daily worship inside the Gyanvapi Masjid would further increase the fascist attacks on the rights of the minority. “We stand by the decision of the Masjid Committee to challenge this order in the High Court,” he had said.
In Bahraich, a person named Babbu alias Kamaruddin was taken into custody from Jarwal Road. His wife reached the Jarwal Road police station and informed that around 4 in the morning the police reached their house and took her husband into custody. After this her house was also searched and Babbu's mobile was taken into custody.
Similarly, at around 3 am in Barabanki, the team detained Nadeem, a resident of Gauhar Majra Bahrauli village. The team suddenly reached there and surrounded the house and took Nadeem in custody. It may be mentioned here that Nadeem was jailed in the past for his connection with the Popular Front of India. He is said to be an agent of PFI.
Sources said that the ATS team also raided many places in Meerut and Kairana in Shamli in connection with money laundering and other suspicious activities. The ATS team reached Sameer's house in Delhi Gate area of Meerut. Here the police were looking for one Munir, a resident of Muzaffarnagar. It is said that both Sameer and Munir are relatives.
According to the police officials, a few days ago, Munir had come and stayed at Sameer's house in Delhi Gate. However, Munir was not found during the raid. After this Sameer was taken to the police station for questioning.
The ATS arrested PFI worker Maulana Sajid in a joint raid with the NIA team in Mamor village of Kotwali in Kairana. At present, Sajid is being questioned by the ATS and NIA teams.
Mamor village head Maulana Sajid is said to be a member of PFI. He is being questioned in connection with terror funding and running the camp. Maulana Sajid was also arrested in 2019 by Kairana police with provocative posters of PFI. A case was also registered against him at Kairana police station.
Meanwhile, the team of UP ATS conducted a raid in the Kalchina village under Bhojpur police station of Ghaziabad in the wee hours of Thursday. There was a scuffle between the ATS team and the women of the raided house and the people of the neighborhood. The women protested against the ATS team entering the house. Taking advantage of this, Parvez managed to escape. Parvez has been incharge of PFI's Western UP office in Meerut. Police and the ATS team took Parvez's father and brothers Irfan and Furkan into custody and took them to Bhojpur police station. Parvez was the mastermind of the violence during anti-CAA/NRC protests and the violence in Muradnagar area of Meerut and in Ghaziabad was funded by him.