Monday, June 17, 2024

PFI, alleged to be backed by Al Qaeda, is “radicalizing youth”

Nizamabad police in Telangana has nabbed three Popular Front of India (PFI) members on the charge they have been training the Muslim youths in anti-national activities. The accused have been identified as Sheik Shadullah (40), Mohammad Imran (22) and Mohammad Abdul Mobin (27). 

The trio has been booked under Section 120-A (criminal conspiracy by two or more persons), 120-B (criminal conspiracy for serious offence), 153-A (promoting enmity between two different groups) and 141 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 13(1)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Preventions) Act – 1967 has also been invoked against the accused.

According to reports, the three PFI members were nabbed from the residence of one Shadullah in the Gundaram area in Nizamabad town. The trio was residing in Nizamabad while posing as small-time labourers like wielding mechanics, but their prime objective was to identify gullible Muslim youths, radicalise them with Sharia law, and then recruit them for anti-national activities, according to Nizamabad Commissioner of Police KR Nagaraju.

One of the accused admitted to the police during questioning that the PFI was seeking to indoctrinate the local Muslim youths with Sharia law and Islamic fundamentalism in order to recruit them into anti-national activities. He also admitted that the group had been conducting workshops to teach Muslims how to use deadly weapons and martial arts with the primary goal of recruiting them to wage jihad in the state.

The arrested also confessed that similar workshops regarding legal matters were being conducted along with physical training by PFI members in Nizamabad, Jagitial, Hyderabad, Nellore, Kurnool and Kadapa.

The arrest of the three PFI members came after the Telangana police apprehended a 54-year-old karate instructor, Abdul Qader from the Autonagar area of the town. Qader was nabbed two days ago.

“The three accused arrested today admitted that they had engaged Qader for providing training to the gullible Muslim youth from the two Telugu states in various martial arts and use of lethal weapons,” K R Nagaraju said.

According to the police commissioner, the three accused lured Qader into the PFI by offering him money, including 6 lakhs for the building of his home.

In the last three years, Qader had trained more than 200 Muslim youths in karate, Kung Fu and use of lethal weapons on the upper portion of his residence, the police commissioner said.

Acting on a tip-off, the Nizamabad police raided Qader’s house. During the search, the police found banners of the PFI, bamboo batons, nun-chucks, stationery, reading material and books, an audio system, and several bus and train tickets in his house. All the materials were seized and Qader was apprehended.

“Though there have been no PFI activities in the state till now, the latest arrests have revealed that the organisation is trying to expand its footprints in the state gradually,” Nagaraju said.

The Nizamabad police have also filed a case against all the 200 Muslim youths accused of taking part in training camps held by Qader last year. Sources said the police teams are attempting to apprehend numerous people who had attended the PFI camp.

It may be recalled that in May 2022, the Sufi Islamic Board, which has been relentless in exposing the Popular Front of India (PFI), once again reiterated its demand to ban the radical Islamic organisation, saying that the PFI is operating on the instructions of the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda.

Earlier, in December 2020, Sufi Islamic Board had also alleged that the PFI is backed by terrorist organisations and is running ‘schools’ to radicalise Muslim youths to carry out jihad. In addition, the Sufi Islamic Board had said that the PFI was misleading the Muslim youths through its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

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