A Thiruvananthapuram court on Thursday granted Enforcement Directorate custody of arrested Popular Front of India (PFI) student leader KA Rauf Sharif. He was arrested last Saturday in connection with a money laundering case that is being probed against PFI.Considering a plea by the ED, the Special Court on Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases in Thiruvananthapuram sent the Campus Front of India (CFI), students wing of PFI, leader to its custody till December 24.
The ED arrested Sharif after he was apprehended by authorities at Thiruvananthapuram airport on Saturday. In a remand report submitted in the court a day after his arrest, the ED had stated Sharif, national general secretary of CFI, had funded the trip of Siddique Kappan, a Delhi-based Kerala journalist and three others to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit woman had died after being allegedly gang-raped.
As per the remand report, Sharif transferred money to the personal account of Ateequr Rahman, National Treasurer of CFI, directing him to go to Hathras with a delegation. It states that it was Sharif who told Ateequr that Kerala scribe Siddique Kappana, also wanted to go to Hathras.
Kappan and three others were arrested by the UP police in October while being on their way to Hathras.
The agency has also alleged that Sharif had received huge amounts of money in his bank accounts through suspicious transactions. Reportedly, Sharif had been summoned multiple times by the ED for questioning but he had been evading it.
According to PTI, ED is investigating PFI's "financial links" on alleged charges of fuelling protests regarding the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in the country and the Delhi riots which took place in February. Recently, the ED had also conducted country wide raids in PFI centres.