The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday arrested two persons from Bihar’s Motihari district in connection with a suspected terror module allegedly linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI).
The arrests come after the NIA raided eight locations to puncture a conspiracy hatched by PFI cadres to carry out targeted killings in East Champaran district yesterday (February 4).
The arrested persons were identified as Tanveer Raza alias Barkati and Md Abid alias Aryan, both residents of East Champaran district. Sources said they arranged weapons and ammunition to carry out the targeted killings, adding that a recce was already done to execute the plan.
The weapons were to be handed over to a PFI weapons trainer, Yakoob alias Sultan alias Usman, who had been conducting arms training sessions for PFI cadres to target their “perceived enemies”, sources told CNN-News18.
A few days ago, Yakoob posted a derogatory and inflammatory video on Facebook, which was aimed at disturbing peace and communal harmony.
The post was heavily criticised by several users on the social networking platform. Following the trolls, Yakoob and the 2 arrested identified some of them and hatched a conspiracy to kill them.
The NIA raids and arrests were made in case of the involvement of PFI and its leaders and cadres in violent and unlawful activities, who had assembled for that purpose in the Phulwari Sharif area of Patna.
With these arrests, a PFI ‘killer module’ has been unearthed and busted, thus preventing targeted killings, sources said.
Earlier, 4 persons were arrested and several incriminating articles and documents related to PFI were seized in the case.
During the searches conducted on February 4, multiple digital devices were seized. Further investigations in the case are in progress, sources said.
The Bihar Police had busted the alleged terror module with the arrest of three people in July last year. Mohammad Jalaluddin, a retired Jharkhand Police officer, and Athar Parvez were arrested on July 13 from the Phulwari Sharif area of Patna, while Nuruddin Jangi was arrested three days later from Lucknow by Uttar Pradesh ATS, at the request of Bihar Police.
“They have links with PFI. Jallauddin was earlier associated with the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)… They were teaching locals how to use swords and knives and also instigating them for communal violence,” Phulwari Sharif Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Manish Kumar had said at the time of their arrest.
The Enforcement Directorate launched a money laundering probe into the case in July. The agency has been investigating PFI’s alleged “financial links” on charges of fuelling the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in the country, the Delhi riots that took place in February 2020, alleged conspiracy in the Hathras (a UP district) case of alleged gangrape and death of a Dalit woman and a few other instances.
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