NEW DELHI (AA) – India’s investigating agencies on Tuesday conducted several raids in the capital New Delhi and other parts of the country, detaining dozens of people associated with the Popular Front of India (PFI), a Muslim organization, over alleged terror links, police said.
Today’s raids have come days after India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), the country’s anti-terror investigation agency, said 45 people associated with the group were arrested during “coordinated searches” across India.
In a statement, a Delhi police official, Suman Nalwa, said 30 persons have been detained so far in the capital.
In the state of Assam and Madhya Pradesh also, officials confirmed they detained people associated with the group.
Indian media reported on Tuesday that raids were conducted in other states as well.
Local news broadcaster NDTV reported that the “second round of nationwide crackdown on the organization is underway with 247 arrested so far.”
The Indian government accuses the Popular Front of India, a socio-Muslim organization, of having links with “terrorist” outfits, a charge denied by the group.
The group calls itself a “neo-social movement that strives for the empowerment of marginalized sections of India.”
After the last week’s raids, the Popular Front of India condemned “tactics by a totalitarian regime that uses the central agencies as its puppets.”
Denying links to terrorism, the group demanded the release of the detained members.
“Our organization has no links with terrorism. The claims are bogus stories and a simple political vendetta. The arrest and detention of our members are aimed to create harassment,” Saleem Sheikh, a media coordinator of the group, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
He said almost all the leadership of the group has been taken into custody.