NEW DELHI – Week after 19 PFI members granted bail, Uttar Pradesh police on Monday again arrested 108 members of Popular Front of India (PFI) in connection with the protests against the discriminatory citizenship law. The UP police and the government have been facing flak for the brutal crackdown against anti-CAA protesters.
Uttar Pradesh DGP Harish Chandra Awasthi and additional chief secretary home, Avanish Awasthi, said in a joint press conference here on Monday that the UP police have arrested 108 members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) in the last four days for their alleged involvement in protests against the citizenship law.
The arrests are in addition to the 25 PFI members arrested earlier.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi claimed “This is just the beginning. We will get to the roots of the organisation”.
Director General of Police (DGP) Hitesh Chandra Awasthi, while giving details, said 14 people were arrested in Lucknow, 21 in Meerut, 20 in Varanasi, 16 in Bahraich, three in Sitapur, nine in Ghaziabad, six in Muzaffarnagar, seven in Shamli, four in Bijnor, five in Kanpur and one each in Gonda, Hapur and Jaunpur.
He claimed that the state police was also collecting evidence about the financial transactions of PFI which is also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Farman, Nafees, Idrish and Mursaleen were arrested on late Sunday night from Muzaffarnagar, said the local police.
In December 2019, UP Police had sought a ban on the PFI, claiming the organization’s complicity in the state-wide violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The PFI have denied its members’ involvement in the violence during CAA protest.
Earlier, a UP court slammed the UP police for failing to give any evidence against the protesters in relation to violence during anti-CAA protest.