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Major crackdown on PFI members in Kerala; nearly five dozen locations searched: NIA

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New Delhi, Dec 29 (PTI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted searches at 56 locations in Kerala in a case related to “unlawful and violent activities” being carried out by the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates, an official said.

The raids were carried out in 12 districts at the residences of seven each state executive committee members and zonal heads of PFI, 15 physical training instructors-trainers and seven cadres trained in use of knives, daggers, swords and other types of weapons to carry out murderous violent acts, an NIA spokesperson said.

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The official said the crackdown also covered 20 other suspects.

A maximum of 13 places were searched in Eranakulam, nine in Kannur, seven in Malappuram, six in Wayanad, four in Kozhikode, three each in Trivandrum, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha,  two each in Thrissur and Kottayam and one in Palakkad, the spokesperson said.

The NIA said the searches have led to the recovery and seizure of sharp-edged weapons, incriminating material and digital devices.

“The PFI has been found justifying the use of criminal force and encouraging vulnerable youth to join terrorist organisations,” the NIA said.

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The case was registered suo moto on September 19 and three days later, the NIA had conducted searches at 24 locations in Kerala, including Offices of PFI and residences of 13 accused.

Multi-agency teams spearheaded by the NIA had arrested several functionaries including top leaders of the radical Islamic outfit in September in near simultaneous raids at multiple locations in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

Officials then had described the mega crackdown as the “largest-ever investigation process till date” against the PFI.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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