The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed its first charge sheet in one of its cases against the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), naming two accused from Rajasthan for allegedly driving a wedge between different communities in India through radicalisation and arms-training of gullible Muslim youths, training them in handling weapons and explosives, and raising funds for terrorist acts.

The charge sheet was filed after the home ministry granted prosecution sanction under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967, as first reported by ET on Monday.

The agency said in a statement that on completion of a major part of the investigations into the case relating to the activities and agenda of violent extremism of the PFI, it filed the charge sheet on Monday against Mohammad Ashif alias Asif of Kota and Sadiq Sarraf of Baran in Rajasthan under sections 120B, 153A of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13, 17, 18, 18A and 18B of the UAPA.

This case was registered in September 2022 to probe the criminal conspiracy allegedly hatched by PFI leaders and cadres with the ultimate objective of establishing Islamic rule in India by 2047.

The NIA said that the accused are trained PFI members who were involved in the recruitment and radicalisation of impressionable Muslim youths for committing violent acts. “They were also found involved in organising training camps in the handling of weapons and explosives, instigating PFI cadres to pick up arms and raising funds for carrying out violent activities. They were also found actively promoting enmity between different religious groups in India and motivating the youth to resort to violent means to establish Islamic rule in the country,” it said.

The agency said the accused radicalised gullible Muslim youths by brainwashing them into believing that Islam was in danger in India and it was therefore essential for PFI cadres and the community to train themselves in the use of arms for protecting Islam and establishing Islamic rule in India by 2047. The accused were collecting funds in the name of zakat for the procurement of weapons and organising weapon and explosives training camps for PFI cadres, it said.

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