After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) found that the recent violent protests in several parts of the country had a “financial link” with the Popular Front of India (PFI), the central probe agency also reportedly found that the organisation has its offices in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, where the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is going on for more a month now.
The agency, which is probing the Popular Front of India (PFI) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) since 2018, 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.
ED has drawn a correlation between the dates of money deposits in bank accounts and that of the anti-CAA protests.
It is suspected and alleged that these funds were used by PFI affiliates to fuel anti-CAA protests in various parts of UP. The ED has shared these findings with the Union Home ministry.
However, the Kerala-based outfit has strongly condemned the reports regarding the outfit’s financial link to instigate CAA protests.
The PFI in a statement said that it fully complies with the law of the land and the allegation of Rs.120 crore transferred from the outfit’s accounts just before the CAA protest is “totally baseless” and asked those levelling the allegations to prove the claims.
The probe agency, in another finding, said that in Shaheen Bagh, where women have been sitting on a protest against CAA and NRC for over a month braving the severe winter chill, the PFI has three offices. There is also one office of Campus Front of India in the area.
A source quoted by IANS said that Rehab Foundation India (RFI), which is also mentioned in the report of transferring money into different bank accounts, has one of its offices in Jamia Nagar and another in Jungpura in South Delhi, while PFI’s another affiliate SDPI has its office in Hazrat Nizamuddin area. There is also one office of National Confederation of India located in Jungpura area.
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.
In December last, the UP Police had sent a letter to the state home department seeking a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), after violent protests against CAA and NRC in the state.
Nearly 20 people were killed during these protests in Uttar Pradesh.
An FIR by the National Investigation Agency and chargesheet against the PFI had formed the basis for the ED to file a PMLA case against it.
The PFI was formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF).