PFI hit squads, IS links under lens, says NIA

Members of banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala were in touch with Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda leaders and also had a hit list of people belonging to other communities, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told a special court in Kochi on Tuesday.

The federal agency also said the outfit was spreading disaffection and enmity towards the country through wrongful interpretation of policies of the government.

NIA was seeking an extension of judicial remand of 14 senior state leaders who were arrested in September when it made the submissions in its remand extension report. “The IS and Al Qaeda terrorist organisations use the country’s anti-state and religious terrorist organisations for subversive activities in countries where their direct operations are not possible. NIA has received indications that PFI leaders in Kerala were in touch with some of the IS, Al-Qaeda leaders,” NIA said.

“The investigation also revealed the moves made by the PFI leaders through social media groups to get the youth involved in terrorist activities. Several people have already been questioned…,” it added.

The PFI and its eight affiliate organisations were banned on September 28, after a nationwide crackdown by NIA and Enforcement Directorate led to arrests and recovery of purported incriminating documents from its members. The Centre said the PFI were involved in violent terrorist activities with the intent to create a reign of terror in the country.

The special court on Tuesday extended the remand of the 14 arrested leaders to 90 days.