Popular Front of India mobilised money to finance anti-CAA protests, says ED note to MHA

Uttar Pradesh has written to the home ministry seeking a ban on PFI, and there are reports that Karnataka and Assam have followed suit.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has sent a note to the Union ministry of home affairs stating that protests against the contentious citizenship act in different parts of the country and the Popular Front of India (PFI) have a link, sources said on Monday.

According to the sources, the note shows several payments and withdrawals in various areas around the time of the protests in December last year and January.

“It has been noticed that Rs 1.04 crores were deposited in 15 bank accounts of PFI (10) and Rehab India Foundation (5) during the period starting from 04.12.2019 till 06.01.2020,” a source said quoting from the document.

“The money trail has proved beyond doubt that PFI has mobilised the money to finance the cost of demonstration/gherao against CAA Bill till 06.01.2020. Further investigation to trace money trail from other bank accounts is continuing,” the note said, according to the source.

They added that the names of some prominent people to whom payments have been made by PFI also been mentioned in the note.

Police in Uttar Pradesh had arrested around 25 PFI functionaries and activists for their alleged role in the violent anti-CAA protests in Meerut, Shamli, Muzzafarnagar and Lucknow on December 19. More than 20 people were killed during these protests.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said earlier in January PFI may have played a part in the violence surrounding some protests and that the Union home ministry will decide on the action to be taken against the organisation “based on evidence”.

Prasad had also spoken of a linkage between PFI to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI.

Uttar Pradesh has written to the home ministry seeking a ban on PFI, and there are reports that Karnataka and Assam have followed suit.

PFI’s top leadership largely comes from Kerala and the organisation allegedly radicalises Muslims towards the ultra-conservative Salafi strain of Islam.

The organisation has rejected these allegations.

Source: Hindustan Times

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