Mass arrests of Muslim leaders in India

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The National Investigation Agency (Indian Intelligence) and the Enforcement Directorate (specialising in financial crimes) on Thursday arrested at least 100 Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders and prominent Islamic figures. The arrests were part of a campaign of raids by Indian intelligence and other state agencies on the offices and homes of Muslim leaders at various levels across 11 states.

According to news agencies, Indian National Intelligence Agency officials described the raids and arrests as: “The largest investigation operation ever conducted in India to date.”

PFI President OMA Abdul Salam, Vice Chairperson EM Abdul Rahman, National Secretary Nasruddin Al Maram and Kerala Unit Chief Muhammad Bashir were arrested from Kerala.

The Indian authorities also arrested prominent Islamic figures from Kerala, including former president of the PFI and founder of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDI), Erappungal Abubacker, and veteran journalist and secretary-general of the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), P Koya.

Several arrested during the raids by the Indian authorities were brought before the Patiala House court on Thursday evening, while five members of the PFI were arrested before a court hearing in Mumbai.

The National Investigation Agency also arrested Delhi PFI Chief Parvez Ahmed and his brother from Okhla at 3.30 am on Thursday.

As many as 1,500 personnel from the Indian police force, the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and Central Armed Police participated in the raids, which began at 1 am on Thursday and are said to have ended by 5 am, according to the Asian News International agency.

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