Updated: February 15, 2021 3:10:03 am
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Sunday brought Campus Front of India (CFI) leader KA Rauf Sherif (32) from Kerala to Mathura and produced him in a local court that sent him to judicial custody in connection with the Hathras “conspiracy” case. The police have alleged he was involved in attempts to create unrest over the murder and alleged gangrape of a Dalit woman in Hathras in September.
On October 5, the Mathura police arrested journalist Siddique Kappan, and his companions Atiq-Ur-Rahman, Masood Ahmed and Alam while they were on their way to meet the family of the 19-year-old victim. The police claimed that the four were part of a larger conspiracy to instigate caste riots, and said they were office-bearers and members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the CFI, its students’ wing.
The UP Police’s Special Task Force (STF), which is investigating the case, came across the alleged role of Rauf Sherif, who is the CFI’s national general secretary, during its inquiry. On December 12, Rauf Sherif was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Thiruvananthapuram in a money laundering case while he was trying to board a flight.
“On coming to know, Rauf Sherif is lodged in a jail in Ernakulam, we moved the court and obtained his production warrant. The warrant was served in the jail. We have now taken his custody and brought him to Mathura. He was produced in a local court in Mathura, which sent him to judicial custody,” said Additional Superintendent of Police, STF, Raj Kumar Mishra.
The senior officer announced that the police would soon seek Rauf Sherif’s police custody remand (PCR).
The STF’s move to bring Rauf to Uttar Pradesh came four days after the Enforcement Direction (ED) filed a prosecution complaint — equivalent to a chargesheet — in Lucknow against him and the other four, accusing them of receiving funds from organisations to protest against the Hathras woman’s murder.
The UP government faced flak after the Hathras administration and police carried out a hasty cremation of the woman in the absence of her family in the dead of the night.
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