The banned Popular Front of India’s state secretary C A Rauf was arrested on Friday from Kerala for his alleged involvement in unlawful activities and encouraging youth to join terrorist groups as part of a conspiracy to establish “Islamic rule” in India, the National Investigation Agency said.
Rauf, a resident of Karimpulli-Palakkad, was the 13th accused arrested in Popular Front of India (PFI) Kerala case, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.
In September, the central government banned the PFI and several of its associates for five years under a stringent anti-terror law, accusing them of having “links” with global terror groups such as the ISIS.
Besides PFI, the organisations which were also declared banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) included Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said Rauf was the PFI state secretary and was handling its media and public relation wings in Kerala.
He was absconding after his name came up during investigation of the case registered against the PFI, its office bearers, members and affiliates in Kerala who have been found conspiring to indulge in unlawful activities such as creating enmity between members of different religions and groups and carrying out activities prejudicial to communal harmony with the intention to disrupt public peace and tranquility, and cause disaffection against India.
“They have also been found propagating alternative justice delivery systems justifying the use of criminal force resulting in alarm and fear amongst the people, encouraging vulnerable youth to join terrorist organisations, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daesh and Al-Qaida, and the conspiracy to establish Islamic rule in India by committing terrorist acts as a part of violent jihad,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier, 12 accused were arrested during investigation of the case, while Rauf evaded arrest and was absconding, the official said, adding “he is one of the main conspirators in the instant case”.
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