By: India Weekly Staff
India’s elite National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a supplementary charge sheet against five members of Popular Front of India (PFI) for allegedly provoking and radicalising impressionable Muslim youths, recruiting them and imparting weapons training in specifically organised training camps.
In its supplementary charge sheet filed before a special court in the southern city of Hyderabad on Thursday (16), the agency has invoked criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Shaik Raheem, Shaik Vahaid Ali, Jafrulla Khan Pathan, Shaik Riyaz Ahmed and Abdul Waris.
“The accused persons charged yesterday are trained PFI cadre who were found involved in provoking and radicalising impressionable Muslim youth, recruiting them into the PFI and imparting weapons training in specifically organized PFI training camps,” the NIA spokesperson said. She said the aim was to carry out violent terrorist activities in furtherance of the conspiracy to establish Islamic rule in the country by 2047.
“These PFI cadre misinterpreted religious texts and proclaimed that a violent form of Jihad was necessary to alleviate the sufferings of Muslims in India. Once recruited into the PFI, the Muslim youth were sent to the training camps organised by the accused PFI cadre where they were trained in the use of lethal weapons to kill their ‘targets’ by attacking their vital body parts such as throat, stomach, head etc,” the agency said.
The NIA had in August last year taken over from the Telangana Police investigation into the case of alleged criminal conspiracy hatched by PFI leaders and cadre to recruit and radicalise youth and organise training camps to put them through arms training for carrying acts of terror and violence. It filed the first charge sheet against 11 accused in the case in December last year, they said.
“On completion of further investigations into the case pertaining to the criminal conspiracy hatched by PFI leaders and cadre to recruit and radicalise youth and organise training camps to put them through arms training for carrying acts of terror and violence, the National Investigation Agency filed a supplementary charge sheet on March 16, 2023, against five accused in NIA Special Court, Hyderabad in the Nizamabad PFI case,” the NIA spokesperson said.
The agency said the PFI and its many affiliates were declared an ‘unlawful association’ by the Union Home Ministry in September 2022 after its involvement in violent activities came to light during investigations carried out by various state police and national agencies.