Kerala: PFI calls for one-day strike over leaders’ arrest


The National Investigation Agency (NIA) leads a group of agencies that raided the offices, homes and other sites of the Popular Front of India (PFI) on Thursday in retaliation for allegations that the organization supported terrorist activity across the country.

In addition, the group demanded a hartal in the southern state from dawn to dusk Friday to demonstrate their vehement opposition to the central agencies’ action. In a statement published here, the PFI state commission noted that the arrest of the leaders was the result of “state-sponsored terrorism.” β€œOn Sept. 23, a heartfelt will be seen in the state against the RSS-controlled fascist government’s attempt to silence dissenting voices using the central agencies,” said A Abdul Sathar, general secretary of state, PFI .

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The hartal would be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., he said in the statement.

While the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has conducted numerous raids on PFI terror links today, Union Home Secretary Amit Shah presided over a meeting with NSA Ajit Doval and other top officials. In early morning raids on Thursday, several agencies, including the NIA, detained or arrested nearly 100 PFI activists in about 10 states for allegedly supporting terrorism. The raids were carried out in the following states: Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and the national capital. The investigative agency also detained PFI chairman OMA Salam and Delhi PFI chief Parvez Ahmed.

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As news of the early morning searches spread, PFI workers staged marches to the sites of the raids and chanted anti-Centre and anti-research agency slogans. However, to strengthen security, central troops were already stationed at all such locations.

Protest marches were held in almost every district, including Thrissur, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Kollam, according to a PFI source. According to local media, all leaders and workers detained statewide would be transported to the NIA office in Kochi.

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Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) state president Ashraf Maulavi said the home of an SDPI leader living in Thrissur was also searched. He said at a press conference held here that those adhering to the country’s constitution should anticipate such fascist action being taken against them in RSS-ruled India.

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