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Kerala Police Launch Crackdown on PFI, Raid Offices, 'Religious Centres'

Following the murder of SFI activist Abhimanyu in Kochi on Monday, there has been a severe clampdown on Popular Front and its political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

Achyuth Punnekat | News18

Updated:July 7, 2018, 9:28 PM IST
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Kerala Police Launch Crackdown on PFI, Raid Offices, 'Religious Centres'
Picture for representation. (Photo: Reuters)
Kerala: Kerala Police on Saturday conducted simultaneous raids at the offices of Islamic outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI). Police have launched a crackdown on the ‘spiritual’ strongholds of PFI in Malappuram, including Manjeri, Perinthalmanna, Tirur and Kadampuzha.

Following the murder of SFI activist Abhimanyu in Kochi on Monday, there has been a severe clampdown on Popular Front and its political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

Raids were conducted at Green Valley in Manjeri, headquarters of the erstwhile National Democratic Front, which later morphed into PFI.

This is being seen as the biggest raid on Green Valley since 2010.

The police also raided Satyasarani, which was at the centre of the Hadiya conversion case and alleged recruitment of Kerala youths to the Islamic State. The police suspect that the conspiracy behind Abhimanyu’s killing was also hatched at Satyasarani.

Although five accused have been arrested in the case, the main culprits are still at large. Police say they may have left the state soon after the murder, hinting at prior planning into the murder.

Cochin City Police Commissioner MP Dinesh told News18, "We have some leads on their whereabouts but we cannot reveal them to the media. We will ensure their arrest."

Several dozen of SDPI leaders have been put under electronic surveillance.

Meanwhile, News18 has accessed an audio recording from alleged Islamic State terrorist Abdul Rashid Abdulla where he can be heard saying, "In the cause of Allah, NDF was started to propagate jihad. They wanted to carry out at least a small-scale jihad in Kerala."

Abdul Rashid, a Kasaragod native is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan now.

SDPI maintained a low-profile after activists were accused of chopping off the hand of a college professor in Muvattupuzha in 2010. However, Popular Front leaders are now reportedly worried that they might lose their cadre to more aggressive outfits. Fifteen PFI workers have allegedly joined the Islamic State.

PFI and SDPI have aggressively protested the arrest of its activists’ suspected of involvement in Abhimanyu’s murder.

Several Muslim organisations have reportedly started to distance themselves from PFI.

News18 learnt that as Friday prayers were held, some mosques in Kozhikode brought out a Khutbah warning the laity against extremist Islam.

The leader of the AP faction of the Samastha Kerala Jam'eyyath ul-Ulam, Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar, told News18, "True Islam does not preach violence. It is unacceptable if murder is committed in the name of the Muslim community". Samastha has in fact brought out a resolution condemning the Popular Front and SDPI.

The murder of Abhimanyu has also triggered speculations about the BJP government at the Centre imposing a ban on the outfit.

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