In an exclusive scoop on Friday, Republic TV learned that a sociopolitical group may be using karate classes as a cover to radicalize youth. According to the sources, these karate classes were active in several states including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The investigation by the central investigative agencies revealed that hate speech, videos and articles are disseminated in these classes, the sources added. In addition, physical training is provided to people under the guise of karate training centers. At present, the agencies are trying to locate such classes, following the searches that were carried out Thursday on the PFI.
The NIA crackdown on PFI
Formed in 2006, the PFI has come under scrutiny for its alleged involvement in various anti-social and anti-national activities. His political front, the SDPI, emerged in 2009 and contested the elections. In April 2021, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court that the Center was in the process of banning the PFI. On Thursday, the ED, NIA and State Police carried out raids in 93 locations in 15 states – Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra , Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.
These searches were carried out at the homes and offices of the main leaders and members of the PFI in the context of 5 cases registered by the NIA. This was based on contributions and evidence that PFI leaders and cadres were involved in financing terrorism and terrorist activities, organizing boot camps to provide armed training and radicalizing people to join banned organizations. During the searches, incriminating documents, cash, sharp weapons and a large number of digital devices were seized.
A total of 45 PFI members, including 19 from Kerala, 11 from Tamil Nadu, 7 from Karnataka, 4 from Andhra Pradesh, 2 from Rajasthan and one from UP and Telangana were arrested. Earlier, sources said the massive crackdown on the outfit took months of planning and coordination. Under instructions from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the security team carried out the operation under the leadership of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The crackdown was planned in such a way that members of the PFI could not flee.
(With PTI entries)