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Arrested on Way to Hathras, Kerala Journalist and 3 Others with 'PFI Link' Charged with Sedition

File photo of police personnel standing guard near a barricade on a road leading to Bulgari village, in Hathras district.

File photo of police personnel standing guard near a barricade on a road leading to Bulgari village, in Hathras district.

The four were taken into custody at Mathura’s Math toll plaza where the police were checking vehicles after receiving a tip-off that some suspicious people were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.

A Kerala-based journalist and three other people said to have links with alleged radical group Popular Front of India (PFI) were on Wednesday booked for sedition. The four were arrested in Mathura on Monday while on their way to Hathras from Delhi and have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

The PFI has been accused of funding protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across the country earlier this year and the UP Police had sought a ban on the outfit. The four were held when, according to the police, they were on their way to Hathras were a Dalit woman had died after allegedly being gang-raped.

"Four persons who were apprehended from Mathura on October 5 and had links with PFI were going to Hathras to disrupt peace as part of larger conspiracy," reads an FIR registered against them.

Police had said the four were taken into custody at Mathura’s Math toll plaza where the police were checking vehicles after receiving a tip off that some suspicious people were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.

The four were in a car and identified themselves as Atiq-ur Rehman of Muzaffarnagar, Siddique of Malappuram, Masood Ahmed of Bahraich and Alam of Rampur, the police said, adding their mobile phones, laptop and some literature, which could have an impact on peace and order, were seized.

During interrogation, it came to light that they had links with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associate organisation Campus Front of India (CFI), the police said, adding further their interrogation is underway.

The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), however, claimed that Siddique is their member and the secretary of the union. The members are now mulling to move the Supreme Court against UP police's action.

On Sunday, another journalist and a politician, both unnamed as of now, were among a bunch of unidentified persons who have been booked by UP police for sedition, criminal conspiracy and attempt to instigate riots by spreading misinformation on Hathras incident.

According to a report in The Times of India, the FIR was lodged on Sunday at the Chandpa police station. Three other FIRs lodged in Hathras booked 680 people, including Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, for Section 144 violations.


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