The Popular Front of India (PFI) has called for a strike in Kerala on Friday after the NIA raided the homes and offices of its leaders. It is to be noted that the NIA had raided several locations of PFI in 10 states on Wednesday and Thursday night. Meanwhile, a large number of PFI workers were arrested.
These raids were carried out in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana etc. The probe agency ED was also involved in the raid.
PFI National President OMA Salam was also arrested. PFI members also staged massive demonstrations against the raids at several places. The PFI has called the raid an attempt by the fascist government to suppress voices of dissent by misusing agencies and has called for a strike on September 23 in protest.
According to the organization, this strike will take place from 6 am to 6 pm. Meanwhile, demonstrations are taking place in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts of Kerala.
On the other hand, the Kerala BJP unit has demanded the CPM-led state government to take strict action against those calling for a strike. State BJP President K. Surendran said the state government is complacent and soft on PFI because of the vote bank.
According to The Indian Express, in 2012, the Congress-led Kerala government told the High Court that PFI was a new form of the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The state government, in its affidavit submitted to the court, had said that PFI workers were involved in 27 cases of murder and most of these cases were related to the killing of CPM and RSS workers.
Two years later, another affidavit filed by the state government in the High Court stated that the PFI’s agenda was to Islamize society through proselytization and communalization.
In the past few days, the NIA has registered more than a dozen cases against people associated with PFI. On September 18 also, the NIA conducted raids at 23 locations in Andhra Pradesh and questioned PFI workers. NIA officers conducted raids in Telangana’s Nizamabad, Kurnool, Guntur and Nellore districts.