After ban, PFI activists arrested, some booked under UAPA for protests: Kerala Police

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Thiruvananthapuram/Idukki: Several activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were arrested and some booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for protesting in different parts of Kerala after the organisation was declared as illegal by the central government.

Two PFI activists were arrested from the Kallambalam area of the state capital on Thursday for shouting slogans in support of the outfit underneath a flagpole before unfurling their flag a day ago, police said.

Besides the two, there are five others who were present there and whom the police are searching for, a senior police officer said.

In the Nedumkandam area of Idukki district, seven PFI activists had carried out a march on Wednesday shouting slogans in support of the outfit and against the RSS and a case was registered against them on Thursday under the UAPA for carrying out the procession, a senior police officer of the district told.

The officer also said that after the ban on the outfit, any such incident by its members across the state would draw UAPA charges.

No one has been arrested in the Nedumkandam case as visuals of the incident are being perused to identify the PFI activists, police said.

On Thursday evening, the National Investigation Agency and district officials from Ernakulam pasted a notice outside the Periyar Valley Trust, which functioned under PFI, prior to it being sealed, police told.

The trust site comprised a shed on a 64 cent land, police said.

Police also said 152 people were arrested from across the state on Thursday in connection with the hartal-related violence on September 23 and 352 people have been booked till date.

The central government had banned PFI on September 27 and the next day, a leader of its Kerala unit had made a statement that the outfit has been disbanded.

Hours after making the statement, Abdul Sathar, who had called the hartal when he was state general secretary of the outfit and allegedly absconded, was arrested from Kollam on Wednesday and handed over to the NIA.

Multi-agency teams, spearheaded by the NIA, had last week carried out raids at 93 locations in 15 states across the country and arrested over 100 PFI leaders for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

The September 23 hartal was called in protest against the same.

Kerala, where the PFI has some strong pockets, had accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests in the NIA action last week. PTI

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