Day after ban, J'khand police raids IPF office in Pakur

The Jharkhand Police today said it has raided the Popular Front of India's office in Chandrapada under Muffasil police station after the state government banned the outfit.

The state government had on Wednesday banned the PFI for alleged links with terrorist group Islamic State, and police action happened a day later i.e. yesterday. The state government had said that some members of the group had gone to Syria and worked with the IS.

Though no PFI members were arrested during the raid, the police seized the organisation's flags, banners, pamphlets, computer and CDs, officer-in-charge of the police station Santosh Kumar said.

The PFI, which began from Kerala, is active in the Pakur district of Jharkhand.

Police said the group is also active in Barhardwa, Udhwa and Rajmahal of adjoining Sahebganj district as well as in villages bordering West Bengal.

They said the state headquarters of the banned organisation was in Chandrapada village of Pakur.

Kumar had led the team that carried out the raid. Verification of the seized items is on and action would be taken accordingly, he said.

The PFI had taken out a rally in support of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on July 13, 2016 in the district following which around 300 of its members were arrested.

It had also pasted objectionable posters in the district and had taken out a massive rally on July 5 last year without prior permission from the district administration. They had organised the rally demanding the arrest of BJP leader Hisabi Rai for his alleged inflammatory speech.

After the rally, they wanted to submit a memorandum to the district administration but were stopped near the town police station on the Pakur-Dumka road and asked to submit the memorandum there.

However, the vice president of PFI, Jharkhand, Hanzla Sheikh, paid no heed to the police order and allegedly roughed up Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Shravan Kumar. The PFI activists then clashed with the police and 50 of them were arrested, including Sheikh.

In August last year, Pakur Deputy Commissioner Dilip Kumar Jha and Superintendent of Police (SP) Shailendra Kumar Burnwal had recommended the PFI be banned.

A home department probe found that some members of the PFI have visited Syria through states in the South India and were working for the ISIS, the state government had said on Wednesday.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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