The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) on Wednesday carried out searches at the premises of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its student wing Campus Front of India (CFI) here in connection with its probe of the alleged conspiracy in the Hathras incident and the events that took place after it.
According to STF sources, the officers of the force from Noida branch carried out searches at the office of the PFI in south Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
This is the second search operation at the office of PFI by the UP STF in the last one month. Earlier, the STF had searched the office of PFI in February this year.
The UP Police in October last year had arrested four people linked to PFI and CFI from Mathura when they were going to Hathras to meet the family members of the 19-year-old Dalit victim, who died during treatment at a hospital in the national capital.
The UP Police, in October last year, had confirmed that a part of the probe into Hathras case was being handed over to the UP STF. The STF is probing all 19 FIRs — six in Hathras and the remaining in Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Mathura, Shamli and Saharanpur — lodged in connection with unlawful protest and inciting hatred on social media.
On the basis of the UP Police, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also registered a case of money laundering and filed a charge sheet against several office bearers of the PFI and CFI.
In a remand report submitted in the court in Kerala, the ED had alleged that K A Rauf Sherif, who is the national general secretary of CFI, had funded the trip of Sidhique Kappan, a Delhi-based Kerala journalist, and three other alleged PFI activists to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit woman died after being allegedly gang-raped.
It was alleged they had ulterior motives of disturbing social harmony and inciting communal riots and were charged with serious offenses including sedition.
The Uttar Pradesh government has been demanding a ban on the PFI, accusing it of inciting riots in the state during the protests against the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act.