Three Popular Front of India activists arrested after Ram temple threat
In a joint operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Bihar Police raided various locations in Bihar’s East Champaran district on Saturday and nabbed three alleged activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI), which was banned for five years under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in September 2022.
The action came on the heels of a video allegedly circulated by one Muhammad Usman on January 31, in which he threatened to raze the Ram temple in Ayodhya and reconstruct the Babri mosque in its place.
Usman’s threat came at a time when two ‘shaligram’ stones, from which lord Ram’s idols would be carved out, were being carried from Nepal to Ayodhya and had entered India through the border along the East Champaran district.
The operation was conducted in the Chakia sub-division area of the district. Some officials said it was also related to the alleged terror-module bust in Phulwari Sharif on the outskirts of Patna last year.
“The NIA picked up three suspected PFI members with the active help of Bihar Police from the Chakia area. The police and the central agencies have detained them for interrogation. More detentions cannot be ruled out. More updates will follow,” additional director general (headquarters) Jitendra Singh Gangwar told reporters.
Sources said that the three persons were detained from Kuanwan village. Two of them have been identified as Muhammad Yakub and Riyaz Marif alias Babloo. The identification process of the third one was underway.
A police officer said that the raids were conducted on the basis of intelligence inputs about PFI activities, including martial arts and weapons training, in the area.
Earlier in January, the NIA filed its charge sheet against four accused — Atahar Parvez, Jalaluddin Khan, Nooruddin Jangi, Arman Mallik alias Imitiyaz Anwar — in the Phulwari Sharif terror module case.
The chargesheet claims that they hatched a criminal conspiracy with the intention to carry out acts of terror and violence, thereby endangering the unity and integrity of the nation.