According to an official release issued by the NIA, 45 arrests have been made in the nation-wide crackdown held on September 22, of which 19 are from Kerala.

NIA raids: 19 Kerala PFI leaders including Nasarudheen Elamaram, Kaleem Koya arrestedKerala PFI leaders Nasarudheen Elamaram and Kaleem Koya
news PFI raids Friday, September 23, 2022 - 08:51

A total of 19 leaders of the Popular Front Of India (PFI) have been arrested from Kerala during the nation-wide crackdown on the organisation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday, September 22. Among the arrested leaders are PFI National Secretary VP Nasarudheen aka Nasarudheen Elamaram, and National Council Member Professor P Koya aka Kaleem Koya, who is also editor of Thejus daily, the PFI’s mouthpiece that was shut down in 2018.  According to an official release issued by the NIA, 45 arrests have been made of which 19 are from Kerala. 

The nation-wide raids were conducted on Thursday, September 22. NIA carried out searches in 93 locations of 15 states in India – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur. 

The other prominent leaders arrested from Kerala include PFI National Chairman OMA Salam, State President CP Mohammed Basheer, and former Chairman E Aboobacker. They have all been arrested from their houses in the different districts of the state. Thejus daily was the mouthpiece of the PFI and Professor P Koya aka Kaleem Koya was its editor. While the daily was shut down in October 2018, the online edition is still active. 

“These searches were conducted at the houses and offices of the top PFI leaders and members in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following continued inputs and evidence that the PFI leaders and cadres were involved in funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations,” the NIA statement said. 

PFI has called for a state-wide hartal on Friday, September 23 to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests by the NIA and other agencies. Kerala police have beefed up security in the state and issued directions to the district police chiefs to ensure law and order. A statement issued by the police said stern action will be taken against those who violate the law. 

Read: Explained: How the PFI originated and why there are calls to ban them

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