Raid on SDPI office: There was something amiss with the political outfit, say locals  

It claimed to be a political party to look into the issues of the people, but it kept aloof, say residents

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 11:50 PM IST
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A cop guard the sealed office of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Shahjahanabad area on Wednesday. | FP

Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): The narrow lane leads to a rented office of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in Shahjahanabad area, which is supposed to be the political wing of Popular Front of India (PFI), the organisation which is under scanner of National Investigation Agency (NIA) for alleged anti-national activities. The office wore a deserted look on Wednesday when visited.  

The office was sealed and no one from the organisation was available. A banner of organisation hangs at the house which was the centre of the PFI members’ activities till the raid was conducted in a joint operation of NIA and Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Madhya Pradesh on Monday late night.

Local police are keeping a close watch in the area following the arrest of the party state unit chief Abdul Rauf during the raid, who is also an activist of Popular Front of India (PFI) – now a banned outfit. 

SDPI, the political arm of the now banned PFI organization, was running its office in the locality for a long time. Free Press talked to some of the localities to get their view on the activities of the political outfit, however, people said that there was something amiss.The people in general were unaware of the operations of the political party, though they were told that the outfit would look into their grievances, however, they say that they did not see them looking into the local issues.Employees of a chemists shop situated in front of the SDPI office said, a number of two-wheelers used to remain parked near the office daily. At least four people used to sit in the office but they did not interact much with the locals. It was only after the raids, it came to fore that the outfit was involved in some alleged unlawful activities, they added.A trader, who runs a shop at some distance from the SDPI office, claimed that the house owner had rented a portion of house to an Indore-based person without taking required ID details and he had even not informed the local police about the tenants.

“Once seeing the banner of SDPI, I had even quizzed the house owner about the SDPI,” said the shopkeeper. The house owner had then said that residents can approach the party office bearers with their issues and they would resolve them. “I had then asked the party office and asked them to get the local road and drain repaired but nothing happened,” he added. I was also informed that even grain was distributed to the needy from the SDPI office, said the trader.

Notably, in a countrywide sweep down against the PFI members, investigative agencies have raided the SDPI office in Shahjahanabad and apprehended state president of SDPI Abdul Rauf, who is PFI activist. Total 21 members of PFI were nabbed by ATS and NIA in a joint operation in eight districts of state.  

Police keeping a close watch: A senior cop of Shahjahanabad locality said to Free Press, that though it is a joint raid of ATS and NIA on the office of SDPI, the local police are also alert and keeping a close eye for security purposes. The locality where the SDPI office is situated is not far from Shahjahanabad police station.  

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