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NIA files supplementary charge sheet in PFI-related case in Bihar

Patna/New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a supplementary charge sheet against a key accused in a case related to unlawful and anti-national activities of the proscribed Popular Front of India (PFI) in Bihar, an official said on Saturday.

The fresh charge sheet under different sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Anwar Rashid was filed in a special NIA court in Patna on Friday, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

The official said Rashid, a resident of Sant Ravidas Nagar of Uttar Pradesh, was among 17 accused arrested in the case, which was initially registered at Phulwarisharif Police Station against 26 accused on July 12 last year.

The NIA took over the case 10 days later and filed charge sheets against 13 suspects on January 7, August 3 and September 1.

“Investigations have established that Rashid was formerly a member of the banned terrorist organisation, the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Following the ban on SIMI, he became associated with the group ‘Wahdat-e-Islami, Hind’, all the while continuing to promote SIMI’s extremist, unlawful and violent ideology. Post-ban on SIMI, its members shifted their allegiance to Wahdat-e-Islami with the aim of pursuing the establishment of Islamic rule in India,” the spokesperson said.

During the period when the PFI was actively organising its activities in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the official said Rashid aligned himself with these groups, driven by their shared goal of establishing Islamic rule.

“Rashid played a crucial role in cobbling together a covert group consisting of former SIMI members, who would operate under the banner of the PFI. It is essential to highlight the involvement of Athar Parvez, another former SIMI member, who was responsible for coordinating PFI activities in various areas, including Phulwarisharif and other parts of Patna,” the spokesperson said.

The official said Rashid was also involved in transferring funds to terror accused.

“This financial support aimed to provide both ideological and logistical support to members of outlawed terrorist groups. Furthermore, he served as a central hub for receiving and disseminating information and messages from senior SIMI leaders and those accused in various terror cases,” the spokesperson said.

The agency said Rashid had close connections with Guidance Publications and regularly shared radical literature with the radicalised and gullible youth and others who shared similar beliefs, including those facing terrorism-related charges.

“He was also instrumental in disseminating calendars produced by Wahdat-e-Islami, which centered around the idea of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in India,” the spokesperson said.

(Published 28 October 2023, 14:18 IST)

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