Maharashtra ATS chief Vineet Agarwal. Pic/ANI
The now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI) was planning to bring Islamic rule in India by 2047 and was telling the community that Muslims were not safe in India, said Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Vineet Agarwal. The ATS will now focus on preventing the organisation from emerging again under a different name.
The Islamic group, which was banned by the Centre on Wednesday, was planning to wage a war against India by misguiding Muslim youths, claiming atrocities on the community, he said. It had asked the people of the Muslim community to stock weapons in case of an emergency.
"They [PFI members] were creating an atmosphere of fear, by telling the community that Islam was in danger in India and that they should be prepared for anything. We have evidence showing that they were on a mission to bring Islamic rule in India by 2047, when we will complete 100 years of Independence [from the British rule]," Agarwal told mid-day.
Authorities shut down a PFI office. File pic
"During the investigation, we also found that in the name of education and physical training, the PFI was misguiding youths. There is evidence that shows its members asked people of the Muslim community to keep acid, rods, 4-inch knives and stones for any emergency. They made the people believe that India is not safe [for Muslims]." The ATS is now keeping a close watch on the members of the banned group, suspecting they might try to establish under a different name.
"Our main focus now is to prevent them from re-establishing the organisation under another name. Our message to the PFI members is that they should remove themselves from every group linked to the banned organisation; the admins should delete the [WhatsApp or social media] groups," Agarwal said. He added that the ATS has "frozen multiple bank accounts and seized cash. The scrutiny of the money trail is underway."
Day Centre announced the ban on PFI