Who are PFI & what is the midnight search operation against them?
National Investigation Agency, the country’s top anti-terror agency launched an investigation against PFI. The search operation was carried out in a joint operation with ED. The largest ever investigation was done in 11 states and around 106 PFI members were arrested. Read this article to know about PFI, controversies related to it, and Operation Mid Night.
What is PFI?
PFI stands for the Popular Front of India. It is stated as an Islamic nonprofit organization in India. The organization was founded in the year 2006 as a merger of the National Development Front with Manitha Neethi Pasarai, and Karnataka Forum for Dignity.
The PFI states itself as a "neo-social movement which empowers people to ensure justice, freedom, and security".It emphasizes Muslim reservations, personal law courts for Muslims, and better educational opportunities. The organization consists of various wings to help different sections of society, including the National Women’s Front (NWF) and the Campus Front of India. Also, the organization conducted protests against the use of UAPA to detain innocent citizens in 2012.
On the other side, PFI has been accused of involvement in violent activities by the Indian Government several times.
Controversies around PFI
PFI is alleged of funding the anti-CAA protests and Northeast Delhi riots. Also, it fumed the stoking violence in Hathras. Other than this chain of events related to The Popular Front of India shows its involvement in sedition, disrupting, state machinery, promoting religious hatred, and conspiring for communal violence.
Some other controversies related to PFI are as follows:
- In the year 2003, PFI members were detained for rioting and killing eight Hindus in during the Marad massacre in Kerala's Kozhikode. The next case against the PFI members was registered for the assassination of 27 people in the Kerala government. Later in the year 2014, NDF/PFI was involved in 27 communally murder cases, 86 attempt cases, and in 106 communal cases registered in the state.
- In 2010, the PFI was founded and connected with the banned Islamic terrorist organization Students Islamic Movement of India. Also, the PFI's national chairman, Abdul Rehman, was noted to be the former national secretary of SIMI, while the organization's state secretary, Abdul Hameed, was SIMI's former state secretary.
- Also in 2013, Kerala police arrested 21 activists of PFI with two country-made bombs, swords, raw materials for making bombs, and pamphlets.
- PFI later initiated an SMS campaign that created terror among the people of the Northeast, resulting in a mass exodus of 30,000 people.
- Later, 27 PFI activists were arrested by Kerala Police who attacked T.J Joseph. The main accused in this case was identified as Professor Anas.
- According to reports by officials, Shimoga violence in 2015 erupted because of PFI rallies and plans.
Why a midnight search operation was launched against PFI?
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday launched a nationwide search operation against the Popular Front of India (PFI), and individuals allegedly supporting terrorists. The raid started at 1 am, hence got popular as ‘Operation Mid Night’. This search operation was carried out in 93 locations in 15 states, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar, and Manipur. At least 200 NIA personnel were involved in the raids - including 4 IG, 1 ADG, and 16 SP, and a large deployment of state police and CAPF were deployed.6 control Rooms and Command Control Centre were set up for monitoring the situation. A planned recce of all suspects was conducted for over a week and set up spotter on respective places, and all dossiers of over 200 suspects were given to the concerned team. In a press release, NIA said it has arrested around 45 people in connection with five cases, and more than 200 mobiles, 100 laptops, and incriminating material which includes documents, vision documents, documents, and weapons are seized.