On Monday, Uttar Pradesh DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthi announced the arrest of 108 PFI members in connection to their role in the violence that broke out during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state. He noted that the PFI was established on November 22, 2006, after the imposition of the ban on SIMI. Moreover, he stated that PFI had carried out anti-national activities in the garb of anti-CAA protests on December 19 and 20, 2019.
The UP DGP remarked, “In 2001, after SIMI was banned by the Centre, Popular Front of India was established on November 22, 2006. PFI is spread all over Uttar Pradesh. It is more active in Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Bijnor, Lucknow, Barabanki, Gonda, Bahraich, Varanasi, Azamgarh, Ghaziabad, and Sitapur. In Uttar Pradesh and other states, PFI is indulging in anti-national activities. On December 19 and 20, 2019, PFI carried out anti-national activities in the garb of anti-CAA protests in several parts of the state. Tewnty-five PFI activists were involved in this. Many important functionaries including the state PFI president were involved.”
“In the last 4 days, there was a drive in the state. 108 PFI members have been arrested. This includes 14 in Lucknow, 3 in Sitapur, 21 in Meerut, 9 in Ghaziabad, 6 in Muzaffarnagar, 7 in Shamli, 4 in Bijnor, 20 in Varanasi, 5 in Kanpur, one in Gonda, 16 in Bahraich, one in Hapur and one in Jaunpur,” he added.
Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi opined that more information was being gathered about this organisation. He admitted that the financial transactions of PFI were under the scanner. Moreover, he asserted that this drive against the PFI would continue.
The UP Additional Chief Secretary said, “More information is being gathered about this organisation. Its financial transactions are also being scrutinised. We are taking the assistance of Central agencies. Our first target is to identify them and initiate action. This campaign will continue. Just as DGP said, our campaign against their anti-national activities will continue.”