The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is conducting raids in the Popular Front of India (PFI) offices across the country on Thursday morning, reports suggest. The NIA has reportedly sealed several offices of PFI during these raids.
Photos and videos tweeted by ANI also showed protests by PFI workers amid these raids.
This comes even as the NIA had said earlier this week that it had conducted searches at several locations in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh. "The accused were organizing camps for imparting training to commit terrorist acts and to promote enmity between different groups on the basis of religion," the NIA had said in a statement earlier this week.
Here's what we know so far about the raids:
Where have the raids been conducted?
The NIA has been conducting raids in over 10 states across the country on, ANI reported. Photos from each location show the raids being conducted amid high-security cover. The NIA is yet to release a statement regarding the raids on Thursday.
The news agency reported that the Telangana PFI head office in Hyderabad's Chandrayangutta was sealed on Thursday morning. This was reportedly in connection with a case against the organisation by the NIA.
Photos showed a lock sealed with a wax seal at the Hyderabad premises.
In Tamil Nadu, PFI workers were reportedly seen protesting outside the office in Chennai. A CRPF van was stationed outside as the raids were conducted.
The NIA also conducted searches in the PFI office in Bihar's Purnia. Armed security personnel were photographed standing outside the premises as the raids were reportedly conducted.
The residence of a PFI worker was also raided in Kolkata, reported ANI.
Why were raids conducted?
The NIA said in a statement on September 18 that it had conducted searches at 38 locations in Telangana (23 in Nizamabad, four in Hyderabad, seven in Jagityal, two in Nirmal, and one each in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts) and at two locations in Andhra Pradesh ( one each in Kurnool and Nellore Districts) in a case relating to "Abdul Khader of Nizamabad District, Telangana and 26 other persons".
The NIA had said that it recovered "incriminating materials" from its searches. This included digital devices, documents, two daggers and cash worth Rs 8 Lakhs. It said that it had detained four people for questioning as well.
Their raids were in relation to a case registered in July in Nizamabad by the Telangana police against PFI workers. The accused Abdul Kader, Sheikh Sahadulla, Md Imran and Md Abdul Mobin were arrested by the police, the NIA said.
PFI in a statement on September 19 condemned the raids and claimed that this was part of "ongoing harassment" of its members across the country. "Popular Front condemns NIA raids and harassment of members and supporters in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh," it said in a tweet.
The PFI statement said that Abdul Khader was a martial arts master who was arrested and framed falsely.
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