Bengaluru: A number of office-bearers and members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were taken into custody from across Karnataka, after raids at their offices and residences, police sources said on Tuesday.
The crackdown came close on the heels of raids by the National Investigation Agency in different parts of the country including Karnataka last week.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said: ”PFI activists and office-bearers among others linked to them have been detained as a precautionary measure across the state, since this morning”.
”The reason (for the police action) is that during the NIA raids and police raids against those involved in terrorist acts recently, these people had tried to arouse some tension,” he said.
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As they may create tension and disturb peace in future too, they have been taken into custody, as a precautionary measure, the Minister said.
The raids began Monday midnight in various parts of the State including Bengaluru Rural, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Tumakuru, Kolar, Raichur, Gadag, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Mandya, Ramanagara, Udupi, Chamarajanagar, Kalaburagi, Hubballi, and Dharwad, official sources said.
The police are said to have seized certain ”documents and evidence” during the searches and are inquiring about involvement in anti-social activities.
PFI activists staged protests in some places condemning the police action.
A report from Mangaluru said, police detained several leaders of the radical Islamist outfit in urban and rural areas of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts early today.
They were picked up from Mangaluru, Ullal, Talapady and other areas in Dakshina Kannada district.
Preventive detention cases have been filed against them under sections 107 and 151 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), police sources said.
The detained persons from Mangaluru include Ismail Engineer from Bajpe, Sharif of Pandeshwar, Iqbal Kettikkal and Naushad from Surathkal.
Meanwhile, five PFI leaders were taken into custody by the Udupi district police in raids conducted in their houses.
Sources said raids were conducted at Hoode, Gangolli, Byndoor and Adi Udupi.
The police department has been monitoring the activities of the detained leaders for the past six months and they have been taken into custody to prevent any untoward incident, they said.