TN police books PFI for running secret radical Islamic camps in Ramanathapuram

Recently Tamil Nadu police booked Popular Front of India (PFI), a radical Islamic outfit for conducting a youth training camp violating Covid-19 rules and regulations. This so-called camp was conducted in a hidden area inside the coconut grove along the seashore of Ramanathapuram which is a heavily polarised district. Certain places in Ramanathapuram feature in news for some peculiar incidents, despite it being known all-over Bharat for housing the famous Rameshwaram temple.

This time it was in the news due to the training program for Muslim youth aged between 20-25. A special branch team on patrol along the coastline came upon a group of people undergoing arms training in a coconut grove in the village of Periyapattinam. This is a Muslim majority village with controversies rising out of it time and again.

This so-called training was being conducted by PFI, an organization whose link to riots and anti-national, anti-social activities have been established many times. Even recently a journalist connected to the student arm of PFI, CFI was preemptively arrested by UP police on his way to Hathras. It was found that he was trying to stoke up communal and caste tension in the villages of UP under the garb of gathering support for Hathras victims.

In Bengaluru riots case as well PFI’s links were found in coordinating and initiating the violence perpetrated on Congress dalit MLA Srinivas. In 2017 NIA arrested a member of PFI for organising a terror training camp in Kannur. It was found out that members of SDPI and PFI planned to train the Muslim youth on how to make and use explosives and weapons. During the search operations in the PFI centres across North Kerala ‘weapons, foreign currency, human targets for firing practice, bombs, explosives raw material, gun powder, swords, etc’ were seized

In this case, NIA filed a charge-sheet on 22 men out of which 21 were found to be guilty and charged with a sentence by the NIA special court in Ernakulam. Back then the agency also recommended banning the outfit. 

It must be remembered that PFI’s hand was found in UP Anti-CAA riots as well to which a state administration official was connected and was put on surveillance.

Going further back in the timeline PFI, its sister organizations Manitha Neethi Paasarai (TN), and Karnataka forum for dignity were found to be behind inciting Assam riots in 2012 through social media hate campaign against the North East. 

With such a background PFI has been conducting these ‘beginners camp’ in Ramanathapuram for many years as the current one is said to be the 32nd. Police have also accepted the fact that it’s a yearly affair and that they filed a case on PFI only because they flouted Covid-19 rules.

Muslim Rashtriya Manch Vice President Mohammed Ryzuddin has released a statement regarding this issue in which he has revealed shocking information that Muslim youths from states such as Assam, Bihar, Kashmir, Orissa, etc. He has also mentioned that 30 youths were arrested in 2013 for getting trained secretively in the same place.

Many have alleged that the local administration with Muslims at the helm occupying all positions, is playing second fiddle to PFI. Riyazuddin while talking to the Organiser said, “Periyapattinam Panchayat is in the hands of PFI. It helps them to organize such camps: Panchayat chairman Mrs. Akbarjan Beevi, Panchayat Union. Vice-chairman S Burose Khan, councilor S. Bairose and others are members of PFI and SDPI. PFI is controlling the two fishermen societies. Mrs. Akbar Jan Beevi’s son Askar Ali is the vice president of one such fishermen society“. This helps them block any intervention from outside to inquire about the suspicious activities of PFI.

It is further alleged that government properties are quietly sold/transferred to the local jamaat and PFI therein. Providing proof to these claims recently Muslims put up an inscription stating “Periyapattinam was the first Islamic capital in TN” which was removed by Hindu outfits after it generated much furor on social media. 

There are accusations of misappropriating revenue coming from Fishermen cooperative societies and the Centre sponsored Jal Jeevan scheme. Allegations are leveled that funds to the tune of 75 lakhs have been diverted to training camps and PFI’s other nefarious activities. There are Muslim majority villages in the district into which entry of people from other villages are barred. There have been reports about how the village entrance itself hosts a board discouraging outsiders from entering the village.

This has alerted the Hindu outfits which have called for NIA and other security agencies to keep a hawk’s eye on the region citing these incidents. It is pertinent to note that only a few days before the gang of Muslims undertaking arms training was busted, a Sri Lankan boat was apprehended by the Indian Coastal Guard for smuggling 100kg heroin. These were transferred to the Sri Lankan boat from a Pakistani dhow as per the agency’s statement.

While the local police have dismissed the training camp as a yearly affair and nothing but yoga class, Hindu outfits claim that the police are afraid of touching PFI and its affiliate organizations fearing for their lives. This has prompted them to appeal to the central government and security agencies to investigate the matter.

(Featured Image Source: Asianet News)


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