PCI’s alleged role in assisting banned groups for press meets under probe

Intelligence agencies are probing the Press Club of India’s (PCI) alleged role in assisting extremists and other banned outfits to organise press meets and programmes, sources said.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) sources said that Siddique Kappan, a Popular Front of India (PFI) member, was also a member of the PCI and he helped his aides organising a press meet at the club.

Kappan was arrested on October 5, 2020, in Uttar Pradesh under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly instigating communal riots in Hathras.

According to the sources, the IB recently sent a team to the PCI office and questioned the employees and others to gather information about the press meets organised by PFI and other banned outfits.

The IB officials are gathering information about the press meets held in last two years at the PCI which were organised by ultra-leftist, Islamist groups, and banned outfits.

According to information, a press meet was held at the PCI on October 8. Though it was reportedly organised by All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation, the IB belives that it was actually held by the Campus Front of India, a wing of the PFI.

In this meet, the speakers demanded junking of the UAPA.

Delhi riots accused Khalid Saifi’s wife Nargis; journalist Neha Dixit; DU teachers Nandini Sundar, Nandita Narain and Jenny Rowena P; RJD MP Manoj Jha; CPIML Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya; and AISA Delhi secretary Neha Bora were in attendance

The IB sources further claimed that since the PFI has now been banned, they are approaching different preas clubs which allegedly help them in arranging meets under the garb of other organisations.

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