Kerala strengthens security as PFI calls for shutdown against NIA raids


Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala police have stepped up security in the state and instructed district police chiefs to maintain law and order after the Radical Islamic Popular Front of India (PFI) called for a state-wide hartal on Friday.

The sunrise to sunset hartal was summoned by the PFI to protest raids on its leaders’ offices and residences and subsequent arrests on Thursday by the NIA and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

A police statement said strict action will be taken against those who break the law.

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“All police officers in the state will be deployed to maintain law and order,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the state-run KSRTC has let it be known that it will just work.

The transport company said special services to hospitals, airports and train stations will be arranged if necessary and will also seek police protection if necessary.

PFI had said on Thursday that a heartfelt will be seen in the state on Sept. 23 “against the RSS-controlled fascist government’s attempt to silence dissenting voices with the help of central agencies.”

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The hartal was to be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., A Abdul Sathar, general secretary of the state, PFI, said in the statement.

On Thursday, PFI employees had marched to the raiding sites and raised slogans against the Center and its investigative agencies.

However, central forces were already deployed in all these places as part of the reinforcement of security.

Multi-agency teams led by the NIA had arrested 106 PFI officials on Thursday in near-simultaneous raids at 93 sites in 15 states for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

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Kerala, where PFI has some strong pockets, accounted for the maximum number of 22 arrests, officials said.

PFI State President CP Mohammed Basheer, National Chairman OMA Salam, National Secretary Nasaruddin Elamaram, former Chairman E Abubacker and others were among those arrested.



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