The National Investigation Agency, along with other probe agencies, is carrying out raids on Popular Front of India members under Operation Octopus.

On August 29, Home Minister Amit Shah held a key security meeting with the high-ranking officials holding positions to safeguard India’s national security. Some of those part of the meeting included National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, IB Chief Tapan Deka and Raw Chief Samant Goel.

The agencies were tasked to carry out a well-planned Operation against PFI. This operation was code-named ‘Operation Octopus.’

In the meeting, Union Minister Shah directed all the intelligence agencies to collect all the minute details on PFI and its activities.

Also Read | Centre bans all PFI outfits for five years under UAPA: Reports

Shah constantly monitored the Special Operation Octopus. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval supervised the entire Operation against PFI. 

The agency is targeting those who allegedly support terror activities in the country. On Tuesday, raids were conducted in Delhi, Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana.

More than 170 PFI members have been detained/arrested from these eight states and UTs, sources told India Today.

On Wednesday, the MHA issued a notification banning PFI and all its associated outfits for five years. The ban was announced after the raids. 

The MHA said that the PFI had linkages with terror organisations such as the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), and ISIS. This is why it qualified as a terror organisation under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). 

Also Read | Assam to Karnataka: Where are the second round of raids against the PFI is being conducted

“The Central Government hereby declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associated or affiliates or fronts including Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala, as an ‘unlawful association’,” the MHA notification said. 

In the last week, 247 PFI activists and leaders were arrested in raids conducted by the central agencies.