Says govt will not tolerate any activities by organisations that intend to disturb communal harmony
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday assured the Legislative Assembly that the government will not tolerate any activities by the Popular Front of India (PFI) or any such organisations, which intend to disturb the communal harmony of the State.
“Goa Police has been keeping surveillance over the activities of PFI. Even before the outfit was declared banned, Goa Police registered cases for organising unlawful assembly. Strict action is already being taken against organisations attempting to disturb peace or spreading hatred and communal disharmony. We will not tolerate any such activities in future too,” Sawant said while replying to a Calling Attention moved by MLA Pravin Arlekar regarding PFIs activities.
The CM, also Home Minister, informed the House that police have registered two FIRs under relevant sections of IPC at Fatorda police station and arrested 18 persons.
Pursuant to a ban imposed by the Government of India, 32 PFI activists were arrested under Preventive Sections of CrPC in the jurisdiction of Fatorda, Maina-Curtorim, Vasco, Valpoi, Ponda and Margao Police Stations. All the offices of the outfit were sealed and various documents related to the outfit were seized and handed over to the respective District Magistrate.
“A sharp watch is being kept over the erstwhile members of the banned outfit. Based on the information provided by Deputy Director of Income Tax (Investigation), Belagavi and also by Inspector, Special Branch, Goa Police indicating funding of PFI activities in Goa, a case under sections 186, 201, 120-B IPC and Sections 13 (1) (a), 13(1) (b) and 13(2) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 as amended in 2008 was registered at Crime Branch against one Altaf Sayad and his associates,” he added.
Subsequently, search warrants were obtained and office premises, as well as Sayad’s residence, were searched followed by raids in the office premises of PFI situated at Margao, and that of Humane Welfare Trust Office, a sympathiser PFI situated at Shirvodem, Margao.
The CM assured the House that Sayad and 23 of his close associates were thoroughly interrogated during which he revealed about funding a political group called ‘We For Fatorda’. The investigation is still in progress.
The Hyderabad Police also registered a case against Sayad under Section 387, 347, read with 34 IPC and arrested him in the matter. “Sharp vigil is being kept on the activities of PFI and their members and supporters including accused Altaf Hussain,” Sawant said.
Arlekar stated that Goa is an example of brotherhood and communal harmony but such organisations are posing threat to the social fabric of Goa. He sought preventive steps from the government during the discussion. The motion was supported by Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao who also sought strict action against the PFI leaders and to shut down its base in Goa.