NDF’s Countdown started – More Weapons recovered in raids, ‘Freedom Parade’ banned

published on July 13, 2010

State-wide raids on Islamist group’s offices

VR Jayaraj | Kochi
-Daily Pioneer
Image Courtesy: Janmabhumi

In a coordinated and simultaneous move against Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (formerly the NDF), the police on Tuesday carried out raids on over 100 centres of the outfit in various districts in Kerala including its State committee office, unearthing dozens of bombs, swords and other weapons, CDs, posters and pamphlets. The raids were continuing in several places even late in the evening.

The raids were carried out even as the Ernakulam Rural Police asked the Popular Front to suspend its rehearsals for the “Freedom Parade” to be held on the Independence Day and the Kerala High Court ordered the Central and State Governments to submit their responses on a petition seeking a ban on the outfit. The Popular Front protested the moves, saying this was part of a programme intended at finishing off the prominent Muslim groups.

About 30 bombs and several weapons were seized in the raids on over 20 Popular Front centres, including its offices and leaders’ homes, in Kannur district. Twenty bombs were recovered from Punnad in Irutty while eight steel-cover bombs and a country bomb were sized from Parad in Panur, known so far for CPI(M)-sponsored murderous political violence.

Six swords were seized from the house of a Popular Front leader in Payyannur and a raid in Manna, Thalipparambu yielded five iron rods. Raids were also held in places like Narath, Pappinissery, Mankadavu, Thazhe Chovva and City in Kannur. Many pamphlets and CDs also were seized in these searches.

Popular Front offices and leader’s homes were raided in more than 25 places in Kozhikode district. A police team headed by Kozhikode City Police Commissioner P Vijayan and Assistant Commissioner Shoukathali raided Unity House, the State committee office of the Popular Front. Several books, documents and pamphlets were seized in the raid. The Police Commissioner said that cases would be initiated after examining the documents.

The raid on Unity House was carried out in the presence of State Popular Front president Nazeeruddin Elamaram and other senior leaders but police officials said they were cooperative. Raid was also held at the offices of Campus Front, the students’ outfit of the organization and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), its political wing.

The police searched the district committee office of the Popular Front at Vidya Nagar, Kasaragod and its local office in Thrikkarippur. It is also said that the plan for the raid could have been leaked as documents were found burned at the outfit’s centre in Perumbalam, Kasaragod when the officials reached. Raids were held in Mananthavady, Kalpetta and Panamaram in Wayanad district. Searches were also held at Popular Front offices in the south Kerala districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam and Ernakulam.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court asked the State and Central governments to furnish within two weeks their responses to a Public Interest Litigation seeking a ban on the Popular Front and SDPI. A division bench of the court asked the Government whether the Popular Front and SDPI were political organizations. The court would take up the PIL for detailed examination after two weeks.

In Ernakulam district, where a massive hunt was on for the culprits behind the gruesome attack of July 4 on a college professor, the Rural Police ordered the Popular Front to suspend the rehearsals for its annual ‘Freedom Parade’, to be held on the Independence Day, on the information that arms training was going on.

The Popular Front was planning to hold ‘Freedom Parades’ in seven regions in the State and the one in Ernakulam district was to be held in Aluva, where the police’s hunt for the assailants of the professor was concentrated. At the same time, the police arrested one more Popular Front activist, Abdul Salam, accused in the case of the attack on Prof TJ Joseph.

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