The Pune police, on Saturday, 24 September, said that they have taken cognisance of the alleged 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans raised during the Popular Front of India's (PFI's) protest in Pune on Friday.
Subsequently, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, commenting on alleged slogans heard at the protest, said, "If anyone raises slogans of 'Pakistan Zindabad' in Maharashtra and in the country, we will not spare such people and action will be taken."
The police also booked 60 people linked to the PFI on charges of unlawful assembly and wrongful restraint for blocking roads during their protest on Friday.
PFI supporters had held demonstrations against nationwide raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and the arrest of its leaders on terrorism charges.
On Friday afternoon, PFI leaders and workers staged a protest in front of the District Collectorate and condemned the raids, raising slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the police said.
Officials added that the police briefly detained 42 people, who were released later at night after being issued warning notices. They said that in the early hours of Saturday, more than 60 people were booked at Pune’s Bundgarden police station.
Bundgarden police station in-charge Senior inspector Pratap Mankar said:
“An offence has been registered against the 42 people detained and around 20 others. They have been booked under IPC sections pertaining to unlawful assembly and wrongful restraint because they blocked the road, and also on charges of disobeying orders issued by government officials as they held the protest in spite of denial of permission to do so. We have also invoked provisions of the Mumbai Police Act for violation of various law and order rules.”
NIA-ED Conducts Nationwide Raids
The NIA and the ED, in coordination with state agencies, had launched nationwide raids against the PFI on Thursday, in connection to a probe into terrorism and terror-funding charges.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had also launched a statewide crackdown and conducted raids at 12 locations, arresting 20 people linked to the PFI, including two from Pune.
The PFI, multi-agency teams spearheaded by NIA arrested 106 leaders and activists of the outfit in near-simultaneous raids in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.
PFI State President CP Mohammed Basheer, National Chairman OMA Salam, National Secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, and former Chairman E Abubacker were among the most prominent persons to be arrested.
Further, journalist and National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) General Secretary Professor P Koya was also arrested by the agencies from Kerala.
In Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad and Nanded, four offences were registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups), 121A (Conspiring to commit certain offences against the State) and sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
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