Two PFI members held, STF says were planning ‘series of blasts’

The accused, who are from Kerala and in their twenties, were arrested near the Kukrail trisection with an array of explosives and firearms, said the police.

THE UP Police’s Special Task Force (STF) claimed to have arrested two Popular Front of India (PFI) members here on Tuesday evening for allegedly planning a series of blasts to target senior office-bearers of Hindu organisations.

The accused, who are from Kerala, were arrested near the Kukrail trisection with an array of explosives and firearms, said the police. They were identified as Ansad Badruddin and Firoz Khan, both in their twenties, said Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar.

The officer said that during the preliminary investigation it came to light that the accused were planning to recruit people in various districts and others states. They had already planned to target Hindu organisations and their leaders, Kumar added.

The police claimed to have received information that PFI members were planning a series of explosions during the “Basant Panchami” festival and were recruiting people for that purpose.

The police said that on February 11 they were tipped off about the arrival of the two PFI members in Uttar Pradesh on a train. The police, however, could not trace them. On Tuesday, they were told that Badruddin and Firoz were coming to Kukrail trisection to meet their associates to plan the explosions.

A police team went to the spot and arrested the two. During initial questioning, they allegedly told investigators that their main objective was to recruit well-built youth, train them to use firearms and make them ready for attacks in any part of India.

The police claimed to have recovered 16 highly explosive devices, battery detonators, electric wires, a pistol, cartridges, 12 railway tickets, two pen drives and two driving licences from them. The PFI has been under the scanner of various investigating agencies for its alleged role in the anti-citizenship law protests of December 2019 in Uttar Pradesh.

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