Hathras conspiracy: UP STF nabs PFI functionary from Kerala wanted in UAPA case

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Noida: The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday said it has arrested a "functionary" of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) from Kerala on charges of conspiracy to trigger riots in the wake of the alleged gangrape and death of a Dalit girl in Hathras in 2020.

This is the same case in which journalist Siddique Kappan and three others were arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Mathura by the UP police in October 2020 while they were on their way to Hathras. Kappan walked out of jail in February this year.

Suspect Kamal KP (aged around 50) was arrested from his residence in Kizhattur, under Melattur police station limits in Malappuram district of Kerala at around 12 pm on Friday, the Special Task Force (STF) of the UP Police said in a statement.

Kamal, who is believed to be handling the “hit-squad” of the movement, was arrested by a joint team of the Noida and the Agra units of the STF.

He is among the top officer bearers of the PFI and has worked as office secretary at its Delhi headquarters too, according to the statement.

“Kamal KP was wanted in connection with a case lodged at the Maat police station in Mathura regarding a well-planned attempt to provoke riots in the wake of the unfortunate incident in Hathras. He is an active member of the banned PFI and carried a reward of Rs 25,000,” the UP STF said.

According to an STF officer, Kamal's is the ninth arrest in connection with the case lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings), 120B (criminal conspiracy), the IT Act and under provisions of the stringent anti-terror UAPA.

Of these nine, two suspects, including Kappan, have been released from jail so far, even as investigation continues into the case over the alleged role of the PFI in planning communal disharmony after the Hathras incident, the officer said. PTI

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