Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has intensified its crackdown on the unlawful and anti-national activities associated with the Popular Front of India (PFI). In connection with the Phulwari Sharif case in Bihar, the NIA conducted extensive searches across six states on Wednesday. These ongoing searches have been taking place at multiple locations in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi-NCR. During these operations, the NIA seized a significant amount of incriminating items and documents related to the radical organization, including various digital evidence. Moreover, they confiscated a substantial sum of Indian currency with a face value of Rs. 8.5 lakhs, which is linked to the case.
In Maharashtra, the Mumbai NIA team and the Lucknow NIA team jointly conducted two separate search operations. They also summoned two suspects to appear before the NIA Lucknow headquarters on October 31 at 11:30 AM.
First Search - Rabodi, Thane:
The initial search operation was carried out in Rabodi, Thane City, at the residence of Sahid Nerkar, a former SIMI member. The NIA issued a summons to him, requiring his presence at the NIA office in Lucknow on October 31 at 11:30 AM.
According to sources, during questioning by the agency, Sahid Nerkar denied any connection with the PFI Phulwari Sharif module or any other extremist organization. He emphasized that he is now a publisher who spends most of his time in Delhi and is not involved with any fundamental organization. The connection between Sahid Nerkar and Anwar Rashid, who was previously arrested in the Phulwari Sharif module case, is likely why he was under suspicion by the agency.
Second Search - Vikhroli:
The second search operation was conducted by the NIA in Vikhroli at the residence of Wahid Deen Mohammad Sheikh, who had been acquitted in the 7/11 train blast case. This raid garnered significant public attention due to the heavy security presence and the dramatic events that unfolded.
During the NIA raid, a tense situation arose as Wahid Sheikh initially refused to open the door and filed a complaint with the Mumbai Commissionerate office. He alleged that individuals had arrived at his home without a warrant, threatened him to open the door, and did not disclose their agency. When he objected to their entry, they forcibly broke the door and damaged his home's CCTV cameras. After a prolonged standoff, the NIA team entered his house with their technical team.
Official sources indicate that Wahid Sheikh, currently working as a social activist, was acquitted in the 7/11 blast case. He operates the INOCENT NETWORK organization, suspected to be associated with PFI propaganda and linked with the Phulwari Sharif case in Bihar. The NIA seized some documents during their raid and plans to issue a notice for him to appear before the NIA head office.
The investigation in this case is ongoing.