Thiruvananthapuram: Protests broke out across Kerala after several top leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were taken into custody following pan-India raids conducted jointly by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday.
According to information received, around 100 PFI activists, including its top national leaders, from about 50 places in the state have been detained.
The central agencies with the help of Central forces started the raids around 4 a.m. Surprisingly, the Kerala Police was kept in the dark.
While the ED is investigating a money laundering case, NIA is questioning the PFI leaders in connection with a terror-related case.
Among those who have been taken into custody are chairman OMA Salam, Nasarudhin Elamaram, P.Koya and several others.
Protesting against the raids and the custody, angry PFI workers took to the streets at various places in the state. A.Abdul Sathar, a top PFI functionary, termed it a part of the “RSS agenda” of “annihilating” the Muslims.
“We strongly object to this act of the Centre and we warn the authorities that if our detained leaders are not released, we will not sit idle. We will soon decide on the next course of action and it includes calling for a total ‘Kerala shut down’ on Friday,” said Sathar.
The raids were conducted at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad.
Salam’s son, who objected to the arrest, was moved using force by the Central forces.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports indicate the top leaders in custody are being moved to a few places, including Delhi.