Uttar Pradesh minister Mohsin Raza demanded the Opposition - namely Congress and SP's Akhilesh Yadav - to clarify their stance on their support to Popular Front of India (PFI) after UP's STF busted a major terror plot by arresting two suspects with links to PFI on Tuesday. Two PFI members - Ansad Badruddin and Feroz Khan - were arrested for plotting to target high-level dignitaries of Hindu organizations and were recruiting people in PFI to carry out the attack. Issuing his first response after their arrest, UP Minister Mohsin Raza pointed out that the arrested duo hailed from Kerala and demanded answers from Congress leaders including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Mohsin Raza claimed that PFI and the banned SIMI organisation were run by the same people and noted that Congress leaders had visited the residences of SIMI leaders earlier. UP's Minority Affairs Minister further claimed that the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government was weeding out the evils from the state that had originated during the regime of the Opposition while vowing to jail those who supported the 'terrorists'. Mohsin Raza called for the Opposition parties to unite to ban anti-national organizations such as PFI and reiterated the UP govt's commitment to ensure the safety and security of the people of the state. The BJP leader also hailed the efforts of the intelligence agencies in foiling the terror plots of the PFI and said that they were working round the clock to prevent such acts from being carried out.
Prashant Kumar, UP's ADG Law & Order, in a press conference on Tuesday stated that explosive devices, live battery detonator, pistol, ammunition, pen drives among others were recovered from those arrested. According to sources, Badruddin is said to be the military commander of PFI. Kumar added that they were planning to target high-level dignitaries of Hindu organisations and were recruiting people in PFI to carry out the attack
"We got information on 11 February that these people would come in a train but when we search the trains we did not find them. But we got another input today that the same people will be meeting at Kukrail Picnic Spot where our team nabbed them. Their plan was to execute bomb blast in programs of Hindu organisation and kill numerous people including high-level dignitaries on the occasion of Vasant Panchami," Prashant Kumar, UP ADG Law & Order said.
"The organisation is recruiting people, providing training to them to carry out attacks in any part of the country. They wanted to make small groups of terrorists and activate them so they could carry out attacks when needed," Kumar said while briefly mentioning the Hathras conspiracy when PFI members were arrested. Kumar said 123 people from PFI have been arrested in past one year. February 17 is the foundation day of PFI.