Maharashtra: Anti-Terrorism Squad Arrests One More PFI Activist, 21 Arrested So Far

The arrested PFI activist has been charged with promoting enmity between different groups and conspiring against the state.

NIA raids PFI over terror funding

The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police on Monday arrested one activist of the Popular Front of India, taking the tally of PFI members arrested since last weel to 21.

The ATS arrested Mohammad Abed Ali Mohammad Mehboob Ali, 40, from Nanded in Marathwada region, said an official.

The arrest of Ali comes days after federal and state investigative agencies carried out a nationwide crackdown on PFI, whose members have come under the scanner over the years for alleged criminal and terrorist activities. 

Last Thursday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) led an operation in 15 states and Union territories in which 106 PFI activists and leaders were arrested. They were charged with terror funding, radicalising people, holding terrorist camps, and waging war against India, among other charges. 

Besides the NIA, the Enforecement Directorate (ED) and state police forces were also part of the operation. 

In Maharashtra, the ATS had registered four offences last week against members of the PFI for allegedly carrying out unlawful activities and subsequently arrested 20 activists from different parts of the state. 

Ali has been arrested under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for promoting enmity between different groups and conspiring to commit certain offences against the state, and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, said an official. He will be produced before the court on Tuesday. 

The last Thursday's NIA-led crackdown on PFI was most heavily concentrated in southern and western India, including Maharashtra. The maximum number of arrests were made in Kerala — 22, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka at 20 each, and Tamil Nadu at 10.

(With PTI inputs)

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