Four members of banned PFI arrested in Panvel by Maharashtra ATS

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MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested four members of the banned outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) from Panvel area near Mumbai on Thursday.

According to Maharashtra ATS, the four arrested PFI members have been identified as Abdul Rahim Yakub Sayyad, Moiz Matin Patel, Mohamad Asif Khan and Tanvir Hamid Khan. Abdul Rahim Yakub Sayyad is the secretary of PFI’s Panvel unit.

The arrests were made around 4 am on Thursday after receiving information of their meeting in Panvel. The arrested persons were booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967. The case was registered at Kalachowki Police Station in Mumbai. Further investigation is under way.

The Maharashtra ATS had earlier arrested 22 people in connection with one of the ongoing cases related to the PFI for allegedly carrying out unlawful activities.

The central government has recently imposed a five-year ban on the PFI. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made the announcement through a recently issued notification declaring “the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect”.

Along with PFI, the ban was also imposed on its fronts including Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala as an “unlawful association”.

As per the inputs received by both the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), “the PFI has been raising and collecting substantial funds from abroad in a well organised and structured manner”. It also came to the knowledge of the Central agencies that the “PFI was raising funds abroad and their transfer to India through clandestine and illegal channels”. (ANI)

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