There were people from Afghanistan and the UAE in the WhatsApp group that had more than 175 members, officials have found.
Mumbai,UPDATED: Oct 18 2022 15:46 IST
India’s Popular Front banned for five years by the Center for alleged terrorist financing (Representational)
By Divyesh Singh: The administrator of a WhatsApp group of members of the Popular Front of India is from Pakistan, officials of the Anti-Terror Squad, or ATS, said. He was arrested for anti-national activities and is accused of planning to create order problems in India.
The ATS officials also found that in the said WhatsApp group there were people from Afghanistan and the UAE, and the group had more than 175 members. Many of the members had traveled abroad and made multiple transactions from abroad that are currently under investigation.
Five members of the PFI, an organization recently banned by the Center for alleged terrorist financing, were arrested on Sept. 22 when the National Investigative Agency (NIA), the Maharashtra ATS and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) launched a nationwide crackdown on led the group.
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The five were arrested from Malegaon, Kolhapur, Beed and Pune by the Maharashtra ATS. Officials seized their cell phones, computer hard drives, laptops and their banking documents for investigation and found suspicious transactions in their bank accounts.
The members reportedly worked in a pattern similar to the banned outfit SIMI.
Meanwhile, the lawyers representing the accused told the court that one of the accused is an IT engineer and had traveled abroad for work, while another was a Maulana and had been on a pilgrimage.
The arrested suspects have been identified as Maulana Saifurrehman Saeed Ahmed Ansari, 26, from Malegaon, Abdul Qayyum Badulla Shaikh, 48, and Razi Ahmed Khan, 31, from Pune, Wasim Azim alias Munna Shaikh, 29, from Beed, and Maula Naseesab Mulla from Kolhapur. They have been sent to court.
(Inputs by Pravin Thakare)
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