On February 17, a court in Mathura had sent PFI’s student wing leader Rauf Shareef to five-day police custody.
Uttar Pradesh STF Inspector General Amitabh Yash told reporters, ”A probe by the STF is underway in a case registered in Mant police station of Mathura. Based on information retrieved during interrogation, search and seizure are being done in the offices of PFI and CFI located in Delhi, after obtaining search warrant from court.” Shareef had been brought from Ernakulam jail in Kerala where he was lodged after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in December in a money laundering case.
In a remand report submitted in the court in Kerala, the ED had alleged that Shareef, who is the leader of Campus Front of India (CFI), had funded the trip of Sidhique Kappan, a Delhi-based Kerala journalist, and three other alleged PFI activists to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, where a Dalit woman died after being allegedly gang-raped.
Kappan and the three others were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police in October while they were on their way to Hathras.
It was alleged they had ”ulterior motives of disturbing social harmony and inciting communal riots” and were charged with serious offenses including sedition.
The Uttar Pradesh government has been demanding a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), accusing it of inciting riots in the state during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.