Pune: 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were heard outside the District Collector's office in Maharashtra's Pune City on Friday where Popular Front of India (PFI) cadres had gathered against the massive crackdown by multi-agencies led by National Investigation Agency on Thursday across 15 states.
Due to high ambience noise in the original video feed some parts of slogans were faint. Information about slogans was further corroborated by reporters at the spot. Some PFI members were detained by Pune police and they were arrested this morning. Police have registered a case.
Joint teams of the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and police had conducted multiple raids across 15 states of the country against PFI on September 22 and arrested over 106 members.
Reacting to the sloganeering incident, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the state Home Minister said stringent action will be taken. "We will take stringent action against any person raising Pakistan Zindabad slogans in Maharashtra".
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nitesh Rane took to Twitter and warned those raising such slogans. He also sought a ban on PFI.
The largest-ever crackdown that was conducted against the Popular Front of India (PFI) members spread across 15 states was code-named "Operation Octopus", sources said on Saturday.
The searches were conducted in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following "continued inputs and evidence" that the PFI leaders and cadres were involved in the funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations.
A large number of criminal cases have been registered in different states over the last few years against the PFI and its leaders and members for their involvement in many violent acts.
Criminal violent acts "carried out" by PFI include chopping off the hand of a college professor, cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to Islamic State and destruction of public property.
They have had a demonstrative effect of striking terror in the minds of the citizens.
The PFI had on Friday called for a 12-hour shutdown in Kerala, which turned violent in parts of the state. Stone-pelting was witnessed at various places, including at the RSS office at Mattannur in Kannur. Two police officials were also injured in the incident in Kollam.
The Kerala High Court initiated a suo motu case against PFI leaders who called for a strike in the state against the arrest of its members by the NIA.
As per a Kerala HC order on January 7, 2019, nobody can call for a bandh in the state without prior notice of seven days.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the court directed the police to ensure that "adequate measures are put in place to prevent any damage/destruction to public/private property of Government/citizens who do not support the call for hartal".
"Adequate police protection shall also be granted to all public utility services that apprehend violence, at the hands of those supporting the illegal hartal," the court added. (ANI)