The National Investigation Agency on Sunday said it has arrested one more Popular Front of India (PFI) operative in Bihar as part of its ongoing investigation into activities of the banned outfit.
After the arrest of Yakub Khan, now Mohd Irshad Alam of Mehsi, East Champaran, was the 13th accused arrested in the Phulwari Sharif-Bihar PFI case, an NIA spokesperson said.
Yakub Khan alias Usman had posted objectionable videos on social media harming social harmony. He along with Mohammad Irshad Alam and other associates had also planned to execute the target killing. He took the help of Irshad for carrying out the attack. Yakub Khan arranged arms and explosives with the help of other arrested accused.
Earlier, in January 2023 this year, the agency had also filed a charge sheet against 4 accused in the court. Now the development comes close on the heels of unearthing a hawala network in south India and the arrest of five PFI activists on March 6.
The NIA spokesperson said Alam was arrested with the support of Bihar Police in the Phulwari Sharif PFI case which was registered in July last year following the arrest of four people who had gathered for training to carry out acts of terror and violence in the state.
“Pursuing investigational leads, the NIA found that despite the ban on the PFI imposed in September last year, PFI leaders and cadres continued to propagate the ideology of violent extremism and were also arranging arms and ammunition to commit crimes,” the official said.
The spokesperson said PFI cadres in Phulwari Sharif and Motihari had vowed to continue the group’s activities in a clandestine manner in Bihar and had also arranged a firearm and ammunition to eliminate a youth of a particular community in East Champaran district.
“Alam was in close association with accused Yakub Khan alias Usman alias Sultan, a physical education trainer of the PFI who had posted incriminating videos on social media to spread communal flare-ups.
“Subsequently, Khan along with Alam and other associates had planned to execute a targeted killing. Recce was conducted with the help of Alam to carry out the attack. A firearm and ammunition were also arranged by Khan with the help of other arrested accused,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier in January, the NIA had filed a charge sheet against four accused persons in the case.