Responding to a major crackdown by National Investigation Agency (NIA) against its activities, Popular Front of India (PFI) condemned the raids against its members in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and stated that “the raid drama was a vicious abuse of power to suppress minority rights movements.”
The NIA on Sunday raided 38 locations across Telangana. Searches were conducted at 23 locations in Nizamabad, four in Hyderabad, seven in Jagityal, two in Nirmal, and one each in Adilabad and Karimnagar. Simultaneous searches were held in one location each in Kurnool and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The agency’s action pertains to a case against one Abdul Khader of Nizamabad district of Telangana and 26 others. The accused is alleged to have organised camps for imparting training to commit terrorist acts and to promote enmity between different groups based on religion.
The case registered by the Telangana Police on July 4 was later taken over by the NIA. The police arrested Abdul Kader, Sheikh Sahadulla, Md Imran and Md.Abdul Mobin in the case. They were then booked under section 13(1)(b) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) apart from Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120A, 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 141 read with 34 (unlawful assembly) at the Nizamabad sixth town police station.
On instructions of Sahadulla, Imran and Mobin, Kader had trained around 200 youngsters in kung fu, karate and other martial arts at the upper portion of his house at Autonagar in Nizamabad town for six months, police commissioner KR Nagaraju had told the media. Khader was also found to have conducted workshops on legal awareness, and physical and mental efficiency, according to the police.
According to an NIA statement, its searches in two Telugu states led to the unearthing of incriminating material including digital devices, documents, two daggers, and Rs 8,31,500 in cash. The agency has detained four persons for questioning.
“The NIA is using this false case to target innocent members of the organization from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The agency is methodical in their manoeuvres in this case as it was in Bihar: arrest innocents in false cases and build a terror narrative,” said VP Nasarudheen Elamaram, the national secretary of the PFI.
He said, “This raid drama is a vicious abuse of power to suppress minority rights movements. Popular Front is not an organisation that will bend or compromise its principles in the apprehension of these scare tactics. Our voice for justice will continue. The organisation will expose the truth before the people of the country.”
After the NIA took over the investigation, he alleged, it was turned into a terror case. “Abdul Khader was a martial arts trainer by profession for decades and had been teaching people from across the state,” the statement said.