Enforcement Directorate investigation finds financial links between PFI and anti-CAA protests

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 27, 2020, 05.06 PM(IST)

File photo of anti-citizenship Act protest in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

An ED investigation, in which details of 73 bank accounts were probed, has revealed that the Kerala-based Islamic outfit has already spent Rs 134 crores on anti-CAA protests.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday unearthed a link between the Popular Front of India (PFI) and the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act that have been raging on across the country.

An ED investigation, in which details of 73 bank accounts were probed, has revealed that the Kerala-based Islamic outfit has already spent Rs 134 crores on anti-CAA protests.

The probe has further revealed that three NGOs including Rehab India Foundation, are also funding the PFI.

Although no official statement has been issued by the ED regarding the investigation.

Also read: Despite protests, Citizenship Amendment Act will not be withdrawn, says Amit Shah

The funding is said to have been used to pick and drop protestors, provide them with food, accommodation and other facilities during protests including the Shaheed Bagh demonstration. 

The latest report is part of the investigations which ED is carrying out since 2018 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The PFI was formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF).

Came into effect on January 10, the Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

Since the enactment of the Act, anti-CAA protests have erupted in parts of the country during which several clashes between police and protesters have taken place.

According to reports, at least 20 people have been killed in the anti-CAA protests.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India refused to grant an interim stay on the CAA without hearing the Central government.  

The court ordered the Centre to file replies on all other CAA-related pleas (except those about Assam and Tripura) within four weeks.

The Apex Court said that it will take a look at the requests identified with Assam and Tripura diversely as both these states have separate concurrences with the Central government in regards to the safeguarding of local clans and ethnic individuals.

The top legal body has indicated making of Constitution Bench to hear all petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act. The bench will work out the schedule for hearing the cases and take up the cases after 5 weeks to pass interim orders.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the law will not be scrapped irrespective of the protests.

"Whoever wants to protest against CAA is free to do so but this law will not be rolled back," Shah had asserted during a rally in Lucknow.


 

Read in App