The police on Sunday arrested 11 persons, including five members of the Social Democratic Party of India, from Tamil Nadu’s Salem following attacks on properties of Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries in various parts of the state since September 22, reported The Hindu.

The Social Democratic Party of India is the political outfit of the Popular Front of India.

The attacks took place after the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday raided premises linked to the Popular Front of India in 11 states and arrested over 100 leaders as well as functionaries for alleged terror links.

On Sunday, persons allegedly affiliated to the Social Democratic Party of India threw a kerosene-filled bottle at the home of RSS Salem Town community organiser VK Rajan.

The police then arrested N Syed Ali, the district chief of the Social Democratic Party of India, and K Khadeer Hussein, a ward president of the outfit. They accused men have been remanded in judicial custody. The police have also seized a motorcycle that was allegedly used in the incident.

The police have warned that the attackers will be charged under the National Security Act, reported the Hindustan Times.

“We are issuing a warning that the culprits involved in such criminal acts which disturb the public peace will be arrested under the National Security Act,” the Director General of Police Sylendra Babu said, adding that at least 250 suspects have been interrogated in connection with the attacks so far.

On Sunday, 3,500 police officials were deployed on duty in Coimbatore following the attacks.

Inspector General Asra Garg said that police forces are providing protection to residences, offices and business establishments that have been identified as potential targets.

“We have provided guards for protection and two-wheeler and four-wheeler patrolling is also being done,” he added.

Meanwhile, BJP state chief K Annamalai wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah citing 19 instances of attacks. In the letter, Annamalai said that Chief Minister MK Stalin has not issued a statement criticising the arson.

“Petrol bomb, damaging private property have become the norm for anti- national forces which DMK [Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam] government is finding hard to reign them in,” he wrote.

Raids against Popular Front of India

The Popular Front of India was created in 2007 through the merger of three Muslim organisations in southern India. It describes itself as an organisation that works towards “the achievement of socio-economic, cultural and political empowerment of the deprived and the downtrodden and the nation at large”.

Officials have described the September 22 raids as the “largest-ever investigation process till date”. The searches, according to them, were carried out against those involved in terror funding, organising training camps and radicalising persons to join proscribed organisations.

The ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala has described the Popular Front of India as an Islamist organisation. In a statement filed in the High Court in 2019, the Left Democratic Front had linked the organisation to several political murders, an allegation denied by the Popular Front of India.