An ED (Enforcement Directorate) investigation has revealed how the Islamist terror-linked outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) funded violent anti-CAA protests in Western UP. The same PFI has also been revealed to have transferred significant sums of money to Congress ecosystem senior lawyers like Kapil Sibal (77 lakhs), Indira Jaising (4 lakhs) and Dushyant Dave (11 lakhs), ostensibly as legal fees.
ED, which is probing the Popular Front of India (PFI) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) since 2018, has found that at least Rs 120 crore were transferred across 73 bank accounts linked to PFI after CAA was passed by Parliament late last year.
It is suspected that these funds were used by PFI affiliates to fuel anti-CAA protests in various parts of UP, sources said, citing the findings of the Enforcement Directorate probe report. The funds deposited were also routed from some foreign shores and were sent in the accounts of certain investment firms.
The deposits were made in cash or via IMPS (mobile wallet) and transactions were kept below Rs 50,000 to hide the identity of the depositor. After deposits were made, the accounts were emptied via multiple small withdrawals within 2-3 days leaving only nominal amount in them. Areas where PFI transferred the money across 73 bank accounts include Bijnor, Hapur, Bahraich, Shamli, Dasna in western Uttar Pradesh.
#TukdeFundedCAAStir | Listen in: TIMES NOW’s Vivek Narayan takes us through the graph of money deposited into bank accounts and the withdrawals as the anti-CAA violence picks up momentum. pic.twitter.com/t9IeeohqV6
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) January 27, 2020
“It is evident from the graph capturing date of withdrawal of money from bank account of PFI and its related entities and date of demonstration against the CAA bill that the money was withdrawn immediately before the date of demonstration or during the day of demonstration,” the report said.
The ED report also mentioned a payment of Rs 3.1 lakh to a terror accused named Abdul Samad who was arrested two weeks ago by Delhi Police’s special cell. Investigation by the special cell found that Samad was associated with PFI and was inspired by the Islamic State’s objective of establishing a global Caliphate.
The report also mentioned a suspicious payment of Rs 1.17 crore made by PFI to New Jyoti Group, a partnership firm registered in Tamil Nadu (not to be confused with Mumbai-based Jyoti Plastics) with branches across Bharat which is engaged in the plastic bag business. It was found that the Kashmir wing of PFI also received funds to the tune of Rs 1.65 crores.
Zee News has also found that 9 offices of PFI and related organisations have also been opened in the Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area to fund the ongoing protest against the CAA.
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) January 27, 2020
PFI – a deadly Islamist org with tentacles across Bharat
PFI was formed in 2006 as a successor to the Kerala-based Muslim fundamentalist outfit National Democratic Front (NDF), by merging NDF with other southern Islamist outfits like Tamil Nadu’s Manitha Neethi Pasarai, Karnataka Forum for Dignity etc. Intelligence agencies have informed the government and police forces that the outfit was an offshoot of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), another outlawed Islamist outfit which agencies have accused of being the feeder for recruits to terrorist groups like Indian Mujahideen.
A National Investigation Agency’s FIR and chargesheet against the PFI had formed the basis for the ED to file a PMLA case against it. In 2017, NIA had recommended that PFI and its political arm, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), be banned due to their involvement in acts of terror, murder and forced conversion. According to the NIA, PFI is operational in 23 states and is suspected to have volunteers who are trained in making crude bombs. It also runs institutes where young Muslims are indoctrinated.
In 2018, PFI was banned by Jharkhand Government Citing ISIS Links. The High Court quashed the ban calling it “arbitrary, unreasonable, and against the sanctity of law”. Six months later, the Jharkhand government banned PFI again.
UP Police said PFI was actively involved in the violent anti-CAA protests that have rocked the state and demanded a ban on the organisation. 25 members of the PFI were arrested by the UP police, out of which 19 have been released on bail by court.
While admitting that he received money from PFI into his accounts, Kapil Sibal said it was lawyer fees that the organisation owed him for representing them in the Hadiya (Akhila) case. Sibal is also representing Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a Kerala-based political party, in its Supreme Court petition to declare CAA as “illegal and void.”
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