Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Monday filed a 4000-page challan against 22 members of banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in a specially designated NIA court in District and Sessions Court, Bhopal. Additional District Public Prosecution officer (ADOP) Vikram Singh informed Free Press, “ Chargsheet has been filed against 22 PFI men arrested from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. One of members was arrested from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, while others were picked from Bhopal, Ujjain and Indore and other districts of state.”
The PFI members were arrested from various parts of Madhya Pradesh (particularly Malwa region), including Indore, Ujjain, Rajgarh, Sheopur, Bhopal, Shajapur and Neemuch districts in connection with a case registered by the MP ATS at the STF/ATS police station in Bhopal on September 26, 2022. The arrests were made just two days before the Central home ministry banned the outfit. In Bhopal, the ATS had conducted raids on the SDPI's (Social Democratic Party of India) office located at Shahjahanabad area on September 27, 2022 and detained one suspect for interrogation.
Persons associated with SDPI are suspected to have been funding PFI, and the ATS claimed to have recovered some documents in this connection. The ATS operation began on the basis of inputs of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and in several rounds the security agency has arrested as many as 22 accused, from different parts of the state.
The case was registered on September 26, 2022 under Sections 121A, 153B, 120B of IPC and Sections 13(1)(b) of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The arrests were made in September 2022 and as six months have passed since then, it was mandatory for the ATS to submit chargesheets against them in court. After the massive action against the PFI across the nation by the security agencies, the Government of India had banned the organisation.
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