Lucknow, Oct 29 (SocialNews.XYZ) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge-sheet against a key operative of the Popular Front of India (PFI) from Sant Ravidas Nagar in Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi district, an official said.
It is yet another significant step in NIA's ongoing investigations into unlawful and anti-national activities linked to the PFI.
In a press statement shared with the media, NIA officials said that the agency filed a supplementary charge-sheet in the NIA Special Court in Patna against a key accused identified as Anwar Rashid, a resident of Bhadohi.
In the case, 17 accused, including the one charge sheeted on Friday, have been arrested so far.
The charge-sheet has been filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against the country), 121A (conspiracy to wage war against the country), 122 (collecting firearms to wage war against the country), 153A (creating differences and enmity in the name of religion) and 153B (creating enmity in the name of worship places).
Additionally, charges under different sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, are included in the chargesheet, the statement said.
This case was initially registered at the Phulwarisharif police station of Patna under sections 120, 120B, 121, 121A, 153A, 153B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, originally involving 26 accused persons on July 12, 2020.
The NIA re-registered the case on July 22, 2022. In the previous months, the NIA had filed charge-sheets against 13 suspects on January 7, August 3 and September 1 this year.
NIA officials said that investigations established that Rashid was formerly a member of the banned terrorist organisation, the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
Following the ban on SIMI by the Indian government, he became associated with the group 'Wahdat-e-Islami, Hind,' all the while continuing to promote SIMI's extremist, unlawful and violent ideology.
After the ban on SIMI, its members shifted their allegiance to Wahdat-e-Islami with the aim of pursuing the establishment of Islamic rule in India.
"During the period when PFI was actively organising activities in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, Rashid aligned himself with these groups, driven by their shared goal of establishing Islamic rule in India. He played a crucial role in cobbling together a covert group consisting of former SIMI members, who would operate under the banner of the PFI," the press statement said.
It also added that Rashid was involved in transferring funds to terror accused. This financial support aimed to provide both ideological and logistical support to members of the outlawed terrorist groups. Further, he served as a central hub for receiving and disseminating information and messages from senior SIMI leaders and those accused in various terror cases.
The NIA officials added that Rashid had close connections with Guidance Publications and regularly shared radical literature with radicalised and innocent youth and others who shared similar beliefs, including those facing terrorism-related charges.
Moreover, he was instrumental in disseminating calendars produced by Wahdat-e-Islami, which centred around the idea of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in India.