he Intelligence bureau (IB) has expressed its concern over the expansion of Popular Front of India (PFI) which as per its reports has shifted base to Delhi.
An IB report, a copy of which is with this newspaper reads, "PFI cadres have been trained in the use of sharp-edged weapons and in fabrication and deployment of crude bombs and IEDs." Security agencies see this as a serious security threat to the VIPs living in the city.
The fact that PFI is now making its presence felt in the capital is causing more problems for the security agencies. "PFI is not a problem limited to the southern states as was manifested in the recent shifting of its national headquarters to Delhi. Why they have shifted their base to the capital is an easy guess," said a senior official.
PFI was formed in December 2006 after merger of three prominent Kerala-based Islamic organisations, National Development Front, Manitha Neethi Pasarai and Karnataka Forum for Dignity. It first grabbed headlines in 2010 when its members chopped off the hands of a professor in Kerala for "blasphemy". Following a crack down after the incident, the state police had recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from its offices and centres.
According to the IB, PFI is clandestinely working on indoctrinating people against the state under the garb of political empowerment. A top official with IB said, "PFI is actually concentrating on taking up the cause of the so-called injustices meted out to the Muslims to garner their support for its own agenda."
The report further states that the organisation is trying to develop links with human rights groups, Left Wing Extremist elements and various Dalit bodies. "PFI has emerged as a new area of concern due to its radical Islamic belief and covert tactics. It had recently organised a secret training camp for recruits from different parts of the country in Kerala". This was confirmed by security officials. "A Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) module that was busted in Madhya Pradesh has also revealed the link of PFI with SIMI," the source said.
In May last year, one Mohammad Niaz was arrested in Paris who was believed to be recruiting members for the Popular Front's French arm. As per Indian security agencies, Niaz was trying to set up a branch of this organisation — the Popular Front of India in France. Sources say that 80 to 90% of the people influenced or accessed by the group had Gulf or foreign links.