Popular Front Leaders

NIA, ED Arrest 100 Popular Front Leaders From 10 States

In a first-ever largest action, a joint team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and state police forces have arrested over 100 Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders during raids across 10 states, said sources on Thursday.

The searches are being conducted at multiple locations in the largest ever investigation process till date.
These searches are being conducted at the residential and official premises of persons involved in “funding terrorism, organizing training camps, and radicalizing people to join proscribed organizations”.

“In a major action across 10 states, NIA, ED, and state police have arrested more than 100 cadres of PFI,” sources told ANI.

The raids were conducted in Telangana, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and many more states, said sources.

NIA earlier this month also raided 40 places in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh in a PFI case and detained four persons.

The agency had then conducted searches at 38 locations in Telangana (23 in Nizamabad, four in Hyderabad, seven in Jagityal, two in Nirmal, one each in Adilabad and Karimnagar districts) and at two locations in Andhra Pradesh (one each in Kurnool and Nellore districts) in the case relating to Abdul Khader of Nizamabad district in Telangana and 26 other persons.

In the operation, NIA had seized incriminating materials, including digital devices, documents, two daggers and Rs 8,31,500 cash.

As per NIA, the accused were “organizing camps for imparting training to commit terrorist acts and to promote enmity between different groups on the basis of religion”.

The PFI was launched in Kerala in 2006 after merging three Muslim organizations floated after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 – the National Development Front of Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and Manitha Neethi Pasari of Tamil Nadu. After the demolition of the Babri mosque, many fringe outfits had surfaced in south India and PFI was formed after merging some of them.

Now the PFI claims it has units in 22 states. Its growth is phenomenal, admitted intelligence agencies, saying it successfully exploited a growing vacuum in the community by donning the role of a savior. The successful portrayal of the image helps PFI to mobilize funds, especially from the rich middle-eastern countries. The PFI had its headquarters in Kozhikode earlier, but after broadening of its base, it was shifted to Delhi. PFI’s state president Nasaruddin Elamarom is one of the founding leaders of the outfit. Its all-India president E Abubaker also hails from Kerala.

The PFI describes itself as a neo-social movement committed to empowering people belonging to minority communities, Dalits, and other weaker sections of society. (ANI)

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TDP quits Modi Govt over Andhra package

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Thursday quit the Narendra Modi government, with its ministers P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju (Civil Aviation) and Y.S. Chowdary (Science and Technology) submitting their resignations.

The two ministers drove to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence and handed over their resignations in accordance with the party’s decision to resign over the TDP’s charge that the Centre was not granting special status to Andhra Pradesh. The TDP, a key ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had on Wednesday night decided to pull out of the NDA government after the Centre ruled out Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, among other demands. “We have decided to pull out of the Union Government, because the Centre has failed to meet the demands of the TDP on special status for Andhra Pradesh, which was promised at the time of bifurcation, and other demands relating to state’s finances,” Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu told the media mere late in the night after holding consultations with the party colleagues. “We wanted to convey the information about pulling out from the government to Prime Minister Narendra Modi out of courtesy, but he could not be contacted… My OSD has conveyed it to the PM’s OSD,” Naidu said. (IANS)]]>

BJP ministers quit Andhra Pradesh cabinet

BJP ministers Kamineni Srinivas Rao and P. Manikyala Rao tendered their resignations to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday. Medical and Health Minister Srinivas Rao and Endowments Minister Manikyala Rao met the Chief Minister in his chamber in the Assembly and handed the letters of resignation to him. They thanked Naidu for the opportunity as the Chief Minister also appreciated their efficient working. Later, Srinivas Rao said: “I had the privilege of working with him for more than three-and-a-half years. I recently asked him about his opinion on my work. He gave me the certificate that I have no enemies,” he said. Manikyala Rao said he learned to operate a computer because of Naidu’s stress on use of technology in the administration. “Earlier, I knew only making and receiving calls. I was never used to texting. Now, I operate computer because of Naidu’s thrust on the use of technology…,” he said. The resignation came ahead of the presentation of the budget fpr 2018-19 in the Assembly by Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu, a party official said. Both BJP ministers had stayed away from the cabinet meeting here that was convened to formally approve the budget. Thursday’s development comes after the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday announced its decision to pull out of the Narendra Modi government in protest against refusal of the Centre to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, saying the Centre has done injustice to the state. Naidu announced to the media that two TDP ministers — P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju (Civil Aviation) and Y.S. Chowdary (Minister of State for Science and Technology) — will tender their resignations on Thursday.

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TDP & BJP at odds over spl status to Andhra

The deadlock over TDP’s demand for special category status to Andhra Pradesh continued on Monday, as the meeting party leaders had with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley failed to make a breakthrough. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a partner in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, decided to continue with the protest in Parliament over its demands. State Finance Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu, who led the TDP delegation, told reporters after the meeting that they stuck to their demand for special status. The party also insisted that the Centre should bridge Rs 16,000-crore revenue deficit and extend industrial incentives at par with other states. He said Jaitley assured them that he would discuss the issue with other ministers. It was decided to have another meeting. He, however, said the TDP would continue its protest in Parliament. The MPs of the regional party continued their protest on Monday, the first day of the second leg of the budget session. Surprisingly, BJP national president Amit Shah did not attend the meeting, which was held at his instance. He had telephonic talk with TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu last week after the TDP decided to step up its protest. Shah had invited the TDP leaders for talks. BJP’s Andhra Pradesh unit president K. Haribabu, who attended the meeting, said Jaitley assured the TDP delegation that if the Centre could not bridge the state’s revenue deficit or could not grant the special status, it would ensure equal benefits. The TDP has been demanding the Centre to fulfil all commitments made in at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. Naidu had alleged that the Centre’s attitude was causing unrest among people. He had even threatened to move the Supreme Court over the Centre not fulfilling the commitments. Although the TDP had last year given up its demand of special category status in lieu of the special package announced by Jaitley, in recent days it once again raised the issue. The party leaders said since Jaitley’s promise that the state would get the same financial benefits under the package which it would have got with the special status remained unfulfilled, they were demanding the special status.

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