UP Police Arrests Two PFI Members, Claim They Were Planning Attack

Explosive devices including battery, red wire, a .32 bore pistol, and seven live cartridges were recovered by cops.

2 min read
The suspects were supposedly planning to wage a war against the government by conspiring to challenge the harmony of the country. Image used for representational purposes.

Uttar Pradesh Police’s Special Task Force has apprehended and arrested two members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) on Tuesday, 16 February for allegedly planning a series of terrorist attacks in the country.

The STF has lodged an FIR against the two suspects in UP’s ATS Police station. They will be produced before a court on Wednesday, reported ANI.

Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Law and Order, Prashant Kumar told PTI that the two men, Ansad Badruddin and Firoz Khan are residents of Kerala, and have been arrested from Kukrail trisection in Gudamba area by UTF STF.

The report added that the officer stated they have recovered ‘explosive devices including battery and red wire, a .32 bore pistol, seven live cartridges, cash, PAN card, four ATM cards, pen drives, metro card, driving licenses and aadhaar cards’, from the men as well as a huge quantity of explosives.

They were allegedly recruiting members in different states to carry out the attacks on Basant Panchmi, and are part of terrorist organisation PFI, stated the ADG.

The arrests were based on a tip off that informed the UP police that these persons would reach the state on 11 February, after which the STF was activated according to Kumar.

“PFI tried to cause disruption even during Hathras incident and some members were arrested then. 123 members arrested till now, and few others being monitored. We'd received intelligence input about their movement yesterday (Tuesday). Those arrested hold high ranks in PFI," said Kumar to ANI.

The suspects were supposedly planning to wage a war against the government by conspiring to challenge the harmony of the country, said the ADG. The report added that after interrogation, the two suspects told the police that their objective was to train the youth and brainwash them.

Kumar said that the blasts were intended to ‘kill many office-bearers (of Hindu organisations) and people, to create fear, terror, social, and religious hatred in their minds’.

UP Police Tried To Ban PFI

Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI) has been a controversial organisation. The government wants to ban PFI alleging that it is involved in political killings, religious conversions, and terror activities.

On Wednesday, 1 January, 2020, the Uttar Pradesh police sent a fresh request to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking a ban on PFI, as Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the role of PFI has been suspected in the anti-CAA protests in Uttar Pradesh and the Home Ministry would decide on the action to be taken against the organisation.

PFI’s credibility as an organisation for social work and the lack of evidence to prove its alleged terror links, made the ban a difficult task for the government. The PFI has also been crying foul, alleging that actions of rogue elements have been linked to the organisation without proper evidence to ban it.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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