Hubballi (Karnataka): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday conducted a raid at the residence of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leader Ismail Nalband in Karnataka’s Hubballi.
Besides Hubballi, NIA on Saturday conducted searches at several locations in Dakshina Kannada and Mysuru districts in Karnataka and arrested three Popular Front of India (PFI) cadres in connection with the murder of BJP’s Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru.
The arrested accused persons have been identified as K Mahammad Iqbal, K Ismail Shafi and Ibrahim Sha, all having links with the banned Popular Front of India (PFI).
“The three accused were arrested for their active involvement in the conspiracy hatched to murder Praveen Nettaru,” the NIA said in a statement.
So far, 10 accused persons have been arrested in this case, and the NIA has also declared a reward against four absconding accused persons in the said matter while the efforts to arrest them still continue.
During the searches conducted on Saturday, the NIA said digital devices and incriminating documents were seized from the houses of the accused and suspects.
Nettaru, a resident of Karnataka’s Bellare area and the District Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Yuva Morcha, was killed with sharp weapons by PFI cadres on July 26 this year to strike terror among the people of society.
The case was initially registered at Bellare Police Station in Dakshina Kannada district on July 27 and was later re-registered by the NIA on August 4.
Three people came in a vehicle on the night of July 26 and hacked 32-year-old Nettaru to death outside his chicken shop off the Puttur-Sullia Road at Bellare in Mangaluru.
During the investigation, the state police found out the role of PFI and the matter was then handed over to the NIA following an order issued by the Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The MHA, by the end of September, had banned the PFI, its associates, and affiliates for a period of five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by declaring it as an unlawful association.
Besides involvement in Nettaru’s murder, the PFI cadres are also accused of their involvement in several terrorist acts and the murder of several persons, including Sanjith (Kerala, November 2021), V-Ramalingam (Tamil Nadu, 2019), Nandu (Kerala, 2021), Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018), Bibin (Kerala, 2017), Sharath (Kamataka, 2017), R.Rudresh (Kamataka, 2016), Praveen Puyari (Karnataka, 2016), and Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016).
The MHA has said that the criminal activities and brutal murders have been carried out by the PFI cadres for the sole objective of “disturbing public peace and tranquility and creating a reign of terror in the public mind”.
The MHA has also mentioned “international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups”, and that some activists of the outfit have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and participated in terror activities in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Some of these PFI cadres linked to ISIS have been killed in these conflict theaters and some have been arrested by the State Police and Central Agencies. The MHA also said that the PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Muyahideen Bangladesh (JMB) which is a proscribed terrorist organization”.