The NIA, ED raids on the Popular Front of India were probably one of the most meticulously planned operations by the agencies which involved everything from planning to coordination to complete secrecy.
New Delhi, September 24: The raids against the People’s Front of India (PFI) across the country which led to the arrest of 106 defendants were probably one of the most carefully planned operations.
Raids were carried out in 15 states which led to the arrest of OMS Salam, and this involved coordination between the National Investigation Agency, the Directorate of Law Enforcement, the Bureau of Intelligence and 86 platoons of paramilitary forces.
No one had any idea of such a plan from the federal agencies and there was radio silence on the operation. An official tells OneIndia that in addition to executing the operation, it was also important to maintain secrecy as they needed to ensure that violence did not break out given the strength of the organization, especially in the southern states.
The NIA, ED files that led to the PFI roundup
In all, there were 300 NIA officials who were led by IPS officers in the field. Officials were informed of the operation by the head of the NIA a day before the operation. The briefing was, ‘do the job without any mistakes or mishaps.’
It was decided to continue the raids after the NIA and IB files had been studied in detail. The report of the ED on monetary transactions was also the subject of an in-depth study following which the agency also participated in the operation.
At around 3:30 a.m., the order to continue the raid was given by NIA Director General Dinkar Gupta and ED Director Sanjay Mishra. Raids that began at 4 a.m. in fifteen states were carried out with the help of local police.
During the raids, the NIA primarily focused on the organization’s illegal activities while the ED pursued the funding source. Since 2009, a sum of Rs 60 crore has been deposited in the PFI accounts and this includes cash deposits of almost Rs 30 crore, the ED probe had learned. The ED joined 23 PFI bank accounts showing a balance of Rs 59,12,051 and 10 banks of the front organization Rehab Foundation of India.
In addition, the ED learned that the PFI had raised funds from networks in the Gulf and that the money had been funneled through illegal channels. This was done as part of a larger criminal conspiracy by PFI and its related entities to raise funds domestically and abroad to carry out various illegal activities which resulted in numerous FIRs being registered and complaints against them,” a report filed by the ED had said.
Raids on PFI offices: how are organizations banned in India?
“The investigation established that ‘proceeds of crime’ in the form of unaccounted and unexplained cash and foreign funds were parked in MVVP and projected as uncontaminated,” the ED also said.
Article first published: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 11:22 a.m. [IST]