Kerala based Popular Front Terrorists planning series of attack in North India

published on December 23, 2010

Simi back in new avatar, planning attack series
By Deepak Gidwani | Place: Lucknow | Agency: DNA

The banned extremist organisation, Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi), is active in a new ‘avatar’ — Popular Front of India (PFI) — and could be planning a series of attacks across north India, especially UP.

The unsettling fact came to the knowledge of central intelligence agencies only recently.

The agencies are reported to have informed the UP Police that the organisation has already spread its tentacles through Uttar Pradesh and is using several Muslim-dominated areas as its recruitment centres.

Additional DG, UP Police, Brij Lal confirmed the information on Wednesday.

“We are aware that Simi operatives are using PFI as a cover. We have information about their activities in UP, and we are in the process of identifying these elements,” he told reporters, while answering questions about the reported activities of PFI in the state.

The PFI is a Kerala-based organisation which was formed some time after the 1992 Ayodhya demolition.

It had hit headlines in July this year when its activists chopped off the right hand of a Kerala college professor for allegedly framing questions in an exam which insulted the Prophet.

Sources involved in investigations in this direction share that the PFI’s activities in north India were revealed after intelligence agencies recovered from west UP or Delhi literature related to its operations recently.

Security officials were shocked when they came across photographs of armed PFI recruits performing a march past, the sources said. A booklet recovered in this secret operation revealed that the PFI was active in UP and Delhi.

It is known to have about 25,000 recruits, most of them trained in handling arms, ammunition and explosives.

Sources in the UP Police here say that the most worrying aspect is that the PFI has virtually been taken over by Simi operatives who had gone underground after the outfit was banned in 2002.

Simi, founded as an organisation to promote Muslim culture in Aligarh in 1977, has been named in several terrorist attacks across India. Intelligence agencies had also reported that its operatives have joined ranks with the Indian Mujahideen which set off serial blasts at several locations throughout India in 2007 and 2008.

Recent intelligence inputs suggest that the Varanasi blast which took place earlier this month was a precursor to more such attacks, leaving the UP Police a harried lot.

“We only hope we can flush out this new group before it wreaks havoc,” said a police official.

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