Bengaluru: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday raided the offices of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and Popular Front of India (PFI) and residences of their key office-bearers in Karnataka, detaining some of them, police sources said.
Simultaneous raids were conducted by NIA in more than a dozen locations in Bengaluru, Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district, Kalaburagi, and Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district, official sources said.
As the offices were being raided, many Muslim youth gathered and raised ‘NIA go back’ slogans in some places.
They also tried to hinder the raids at some locations, but the police thwarted their attempt by taking them into preventive custody.
Police sources said the NIA team detained a few key SDPI and PFI activists, seized documents, literature, computers, laptops and phones as well.
In Bengaluru, the raids were carried out at Sampigehalli, Frazer Town and Richmond Town where key SDPI/PFI leaders were taken into custody, police sources said.
The offices, and houses of leaders of the two outfits were raided in and around Mangaluru city.
Two persons have been taken into custody by the officials. The NIA has not yet divulged the details of the two.
The agency also conducted a search in the house of Abdul Khader Kulai, brother of SDPI district president Aboobakkar Kulai, at Kulai near Surathkal.
Searches were also conducted in the houses of SDPI and PFI leaders in Bajpe, Jokatte, Kavoor and Kulai in Mangaluru.
According to a PFI release, raids were conducted at the homes of national state and local leaders.
The houses of Kavoor resident and PFI leader Nawaz, A K Ashraf of Jokatte, Moideen from Haleyangady and Kankanady resident Ashraf have been raided, it said.
The sleuths also raided the residence of PFI leader Moideen’s mother.
The officials have allegedly seized the mobile phones of all the family members of the houses which were raided, PFI leaders alleged, adding that several documents were examined and taken away from their offices.
Talking to reporters, SDPI Dakshina Kannada district president Aboobakkar Kulai said the NIA officials have raided the offices without providing any reason.
He said NIA officials came to their office with a warrant to search the PFI office. After being told that it is the office of the SDPI, they showed the permission to search two floors of the building. They took the rental agreement and the notices of SDPI programmes, Kulai alleged.
“This is a gross misuse of power by the central government for political gains,” he said.
The sleuths, which included NIA officials investigating the murder of BJP Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettar in Dakshina Kannada district in July, started the search operation around 6 am. They are also probing the role of these outfits in the riots in Devara Jeevanahalli and Kadugondanahalli in Bengaluru two years ago.
Meanwhile, police detained several PFI and SDPI workers who staged protests in front of their offices during the raids raising ‘NIA go back’ slogans.
An SDPI activist said the raids seem to be in connection with murder case of Nettar murder case who was hacked to death allegedly by a group of Muslim youths.