The Delhi Police on Thursday arrested two members of the Popular Front of India for their alleged role in funding protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, ANI reported. The group has also been accused of sponsoring large-scale communal violence in Delhi last month that left 53 people dead.
The police arrested the Islamist outfit’s Delhi unit president Mohammad Iliyas and state secretary Parvez Ahmed. Iliyas is being investigated for funding anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Shaheen Bagh, IANS reported, quoting an unidentified official. Later in the day, a court in Delhi sent them to judicial custody for seven days, ANI reported.
The arrests come a day after the Enforcement Directorate filed a money laundering case against suspended AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, whose links to PFI are being investigated. The Enforcement Directorate is also conducting a separate probe into PFI’s role in the violence.
Officials said that the investigation agency took cognisance of multiple first information reports filed by the Delhi Police in connection with alleged money laundering and routing of funds by Hussain and the PFI to sponsor violence in the Capital.
Last week, a court in Delhi sent Hussain to seven-day police custody in connection with Intelligence Bureau employee Ankit Sharma’s killing during the violence in North East Delhi, which broke out between the supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposed to it between February 23 and 26. The police had charged him with murder, rioting and arson. Hussain’s brother was also arrested in connection with the clashes.
In Uttar Pradesh, more than 100 members of PFI had been arrested for links to protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The police had even sought a ban on the PFI.
The group PFI was created in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front. Security agencies have claimed that the group’s leaders had been groomed with Students’ Islamic Movement of India ideology.