Court sends PFI leaders to 7-day custody, warns not to raise slogans on court premises

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Kochi: The NIA Special Court in Kochi sent the seven persons, who were arrested during the raid at the offices of Popular Front of India, to seven days custody on Saturday. The period of custody will expire at 11 am on September 30.

The accused had raised slogans from the premises of the court before the court proceedings began. The court warned not to repeat this and reminded that the court premises is not a space to protest.

The lawyers who appeared for the accused demanded to follow the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court while interrogating suspects.

In a remand report submitted before the NIA special court here seeking custody of 10 people in connection with a case registered here, the agency alleged that the radical Islamist outfit encouraged youth to join terrorist groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The report, which was submitted on September 22, also claims that the outfit conspired to establish Islamic rule in India by committing terrorist act as a part of violent jihad.

It said the PFI spreads "dis-affection against India by wrongful interpretation of government policies to the particular section of people" to create hatred against the state and its machineries.

"During the investigation, based on materials collected, it has been disclosed that the accused named in the FIR were actively involved in the organised crimes and unlawful activities repeatedly, to terrorise other religious sections of the society, besides creating fear in the mind of general public based on the larger conspiracy hatched among themselves and others," the report said.

In near simultaneous raids across the country, a multi-agency operation spearheaded by the NIA on September 22 led to the arrest of 106 activists of the Popular Front of India in 11 States for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

"The seized documents also contain highly incriminating materials related to targeting of prominent leaders of a particular community. The Hit List seized clearly shows that the PFI, which is working through its leaders, members and associated have gone far ahead in creating atrocities among the community," the report said.

It said with an intention to disrupt public tranquility and propagating alternative justice delivery system, "the PFI encouraged youths to join terrorist organisation" including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Islamic State of iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaida and "also conspired to establish Islamic rule in India by committing terrorist act" as a part of violent jihad.

"The case involves key players of the society and they are highly influential even to the effect of stalling the community and its progress by a mere call. The common man stands threatened by the stand taken by the accused and their henchmen," the report added.

The agency said the devices confiscated from the accused and from the offices of the PFI needed to be analysed at CDAC in Thiruvananthapuram.

The probe agency had produced 10 accused before the court and sought custody of them to "unearth larger conspiracy hatched by the accused/cadres and office bearers/leaders of PFI".

It said the Ministry of Home Affairs had on September 16 directed it to probe the matter following which a case was registered on September 29 under various section of the IPC and the UAPA.

(with inputs from PTI)

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