New Delhi: Following the arrest of over 100 Muslim leaders across India, several Muslim organisations denounced the widespread arrests and raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The probe agencies have arrested 106 Popular Front of India members as part of a widespread crackdown, including its national head OMA Salam.
President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), which is a federation of various Muslim organisations in India, Navaid Hamid condemned countrywide raids on offices of PFI and arrests of its leaders on ‘fictitious’ charges.
“Country-wide raids on PFI offices & arrest of its leaders on fictitious charges & assumptions are highly deplorable; shows govt’s desperation to divert contry’s attentions from real issues. All should condemn it in one voice. Hope the organisation will get justice from courts,” Navaid said.
In a press statement, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) President Syed Sadatullah Husaini has deplored the raids and crackdown on PFI leadership and offices by the NIA and ED.
“The JIH deplores all such raids and actions in which people are subject to harassment in an unjust manner irrespective of whether they belong to the opposition, the minorities, or any social class of society. If the state agencies are taking coercive action against them in a biased manner without proof and justification, then it is not healthy for a vibrant and just society. The JIH never endorses hate and violence and condemns it unequivocally” it added.
Students Islamic Organisation, while reacting to the raids said “The nationwide crackdown on members of Popular Front of India (PFI) is another instance of the government abusing the power of investigating agencies to clamp down on dissent. We appeal to all citizens who care about their freedoms to speak out against such wanton abuse of power.”
Wahdat-e-Islami, a religious organization based in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh also criticised the raids and said that the “intention of the government is to create an atmosphere of fear among Muslims, which is a dirty move”.
“An environment has been created through newspapers and media that there are some extremists among Muslims who want to spoil the environment of the country but open exemptions have been given to those parties which express extreme sectarianism, consider indifference and mob violence as life and are also perpetrators of it,” President of the organisation Mohammad Ziauddin Siddiqui said.
“Those who fight for peace, justice and their rights have been put behind bars but people like Nupur sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal are not arrested for their hate speeches,” he said.
“These double standards make a mockery of the country’s law and its system,” he added.
MK Faizy, National President of the Social Democratic Party of India also criticised the raids and said “The craven fascist regime that has completely failed in the development of the nation is creating a shadow enemy of the country to cover up their failure in governance”.
“It is the NIA and the ED, two servile tools in the hands of the Hindutva regime to intimidate its opponents, that conducted raids in the houses of the leaders and arrested them. The nationwide raids on the residences of the leaders are the affirmative sign of the efforts to stifle the dissenting voices. In the past few years in which the mainstream political parties have become mute about the fascist atrocities in the country, it has been the Popular Front of India and the Social Democratic Party of India that have taken up the role of the opposition in challenging the undemocratic, divisive politics of the Hindutva fascists that leads the country into peril,” Faizy said.
While criticizing the NIA and ED’s nationwide raids, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Popular Front of India (PFI) referred to the arrests of national and state leaders across India as “unjust” and “the witch-hunt against the members, and supporters of the organization.”
“NIA’s baseless claims and sensationalism are solely aimed at creating an atmosphere of terror,” it said.
“Popular Front will never be intimidated by such scare tactics by a totalitarian regime that uses the central agencies as its puppets. The organization will stand firm on its stand and the struggle for recovering the democratic values and spirit of the constitution of our beloved country”, said the NEC of Popular Front.
Reacting to these raids, the Welfare Party of India described it “misuse of State machinery and investigating agencies by Modi Government”.
Dr SQR Ilyas, national president of the Welfare Party strongly criticized Modi Government for reducing NIA and ED into caged parrots and for launching a massive nationwide search operation and arresting the leaders of PFI.
He said criminal profiling of PFI leaders with false allegations of terror funding, organising training camps and radicalising people need to be proved in a court of law, before these illegal raids and arrests of innocent civilians for harassing and demonizing a particular community take place.
Dr Ilyas demanded to put an end to these senseless raids and release the innocent citizens and implored all justice loving people to stand in unison and condemn this outrageous move by the BJP government to make India a police state and unleash terror to curb dissent, destroy political opponents and vocal Muslim citizens with vengeance.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Unit of the organisation has called for a strike on Friday.
Campus Front of India (CFI) a student organisation called the raids “an attempt to suppress democratic voices.”
“The NIA – ED raid in PFI offices across the country and subsequent arrests of its leaders are highly condemnable. The central government has been using investigative agencies to target specific groups, organizations, and individuals,” said Shamseer Ibrahim, national president of Fraternity Movement.
“The politically driven raids must be stopped and the leaders must be released immediately,” he said.