Cops on NDF funds’ trail

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on July 11, 2010

The Kerala Police have launched investigations into the sources of funds for the Popular Front of India (formerly NDF) as it has been found that the outfit had spent a large sum of money for the recent attack on a college professor at Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district even as three more persons have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Searches at the houses of Popular Front leaders over the weekend had yielded documents regarding exchange of money for the attack. The police are yet to get details of the sources of the funds though they now know how money has been spent for several of the outfit’s operations. The Popular Front has refuted charges of receiving funds from abroad but police officials said claims could not be trusted.

According to sources in the police, the Popular Front had received more than Rs 1 crore in the past year from several individuals, presumably stationed in the Gulf. They said the outfit had been spending this money for attracting youth into it and for organizational needs. However, the police have not still got the identity of the people who have been pumping money from abroad.

On Sunday, the police arrested three persons in connection with the attack on Prof TJ Joseph in Muvattupuzha on July 4, in which the perpetrators cut off his right hand allegedly for preparing a question paper blaspheming Prophet Muhammad. The three were arrested for allotting mobile connections to Popular Front activists on forged identity papers. With this, the total number of arrested in the case went up to seven.

Those arrested on Sunday were Ajaz, owner of a mobile shop, Siju and Rajan, both employees of a mobile service provider, all from Nellimattom, Kothamangalam. They had allotted about 20 SIM cards to the Popular Front activists without properly verifying the identification papers. The police said that the perpetrators had carried out their mobile conversations with regard to the attack using these mobile connections.

The police had earlier arrested Popular Front activists Ashraf, Jaffar, Kamaruddin and Sajir in connection with the attack on the professor. They had issued lookout notices for three: Yunus, said to be the chief perpetrator, KK Ali, who had bought the vehicle used for the attack, and Nasser. The professor was attacked by a gang of suspected Popular Front workers on the morning of July 4 when he was returning from a Church in his car.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said in Malappuram that there was no Central plan to hand over the probe into the July 8 sabotage bid on the Nilambur-Shoranur passenger train to the National Investigation Agency. However, he said that NIA would take over the investigation if the Kerala Government made a request.

Ramachandran had earlier said that the Central Intelligence agencies had confirmed extremist hands behind the train sabotage bid. The braking pipes of the train were found slashed in 20 segments. The Organized Crimes division of the Kerala Police’s Crime Branch was presently investigating the case, and the Minister said the probe was progressing satisfactorily.

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