The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found that the recent violent protests in Uttar Pradesh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had a “financial link” with the Kerala-based outfit PFI, official sources said on Monday.

The agency, which is probing the Popular Front of India (PFI) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) since 2018, has sent a note to the Ministry of Home Affairs mentioning there is a direct link between the outfit and the protests against CAA in UP.

ED has drawn a correlation between the dates of money deposits in bank accounts and that of the anti-CAA protests.

It has reportedly found that at least Rs 120 crore was deposited in 73 bank accounts in western Uttar Pradesh after the Act was passed by Parliament late last year.

It is suspected and alleged that these funds were used by PFI affiliates to fuel anti-CAA protests in various parts of UP, sources said, citing the findings of the Enforcement Directorate probe report. They said the ED has shared these findings with the Union Home ministry.

However, PFI General Secretary, Mohd Ali Jinnah, has condemned the reports regarding the outfit’s financial link to instigate CAA protests.

Earlier this month, the Uttar Pradesh Police had said that the PFI was actively involved in the recent violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state.

The police said that it has enough evidence against 25 members of the Islamic outfit who have been arrested.

The Lucknow police have claimed that the PFI masterminded the violence that erupted during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state capital on December 19.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Lucknow, Kalanidhi Naithani had told reporters that the PFI distributed pamphlets, placards and other offensive material on CAA and NRC to people in various colonies and also on the social media.

Following this, the UP Police had sent a letter to the state home department seeking a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The Uttar Pradesh Home Department had then recommended the ban to the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Centre.

The state police has arrested 25 members of Popular Front of India, including its state head Wasim, in connection with the violence in the state capital during the protests against the amended Citizenship Act.

In Shamli district alone, 28 people, including 14 members of the PFI, have been arrested since December 19 for allegedly attempting to inciting violence during anti-CAA protests.