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Anti-CAA protests: Trouble mounts for PFI over source of funding as ED deepens probe

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ED launched probe against the PFI following allegations that it was behind violence that erupted during anti-CAA protests at several places.

Violence had erupted during anti-CAA protests at several places. The agencies have said PFI could be linked to violence during anti-CAA protests. (Photo: PTI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • ED sources say PFI members have failed to explain money trasactions
  • Transactions through certain bank accounts are under the scanner
  • ED says these suspicious transactions may be linked to anti-CAA violence

Trouble seems to be mounting for the Popular Front of India (PFI), which is under the scanner for its alleged role behind violence in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Sources in the Enforcement Directorate have told India Today TV that the PFI has failed to explain certain transactions including the source of the funds. There have been allegations that the money received by the PFI in certain bank accounts was used to fund the anti-CAA protests.

The ED has recorded statements of at least six members associated with the PFI and the Rehab India Foundation members in connection with cases involving the funding of anti-CAA protests. Sources have said none of six persons, grilled for several hours, was able to explain the transactions that took place during the violent protests.

The investigative agencies are probing PFI over 27 bank accounts which were opened in the name of Popular Front of India; nine of these bank accounts belong to the Rehab India foundation.

The Rehab India Foundation is associated to the PFI, and according to probe agencies, same organisation has opened 37 bank accounts in the name of 17 different persons and organisations.

The PFI came under scanner over the timing of transactions. The Union Cabinet cleared the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) on December 4 paving the way for enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was passed by Parliament on December 12. Agencies say over a crore of rupees was deposited and withdrawn in these bank accounts after cabinet cleared the CAB.

Sources claims that Parvaiz, an office bearer with PFI, told the ED officials that finances of organisation are handled by the secretary. When the secretary was summoned and asked about the transactions, he denied knowledge about source of funding.

The ED then summoned PFI chief E Abubacker for questioning. He has sought more time to appear before the agency citing health grounds – that he has cancer and is not keeping well.

The agency is in process to summon more persons associated with the PFI and the Rehab India Foundation. PFI, in a statement earlier, had termed the allegations as completely false and the ED action political vendetta.

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