29 members detained; Goa chief released after executing bond, others yet to be produced before Magistrate
Goa Police in South Goa jurisdiction on Wednesday arrested under preventive detention around 29 members of the Popular Front of India (PFI), including the PFI Goa chief Sheikh Abdul Rauf and Rumdamol Panchayat member Umran Pathan, hours after the Centre banned activities of the organisation across the country.
Of the 29 PFI members detained in South Goa, 14 were from Margao police sub-division, including six from Maina-Curtorim police station, four from Fatorda police station, three from Margao and one from Cuncolim police station.
While most of the arrested PFI activists were not even produced before the Magistrate to execute personal bonds till late Wednesday evening, the PFI State unit President Sheikh Abdul Rauf was ordered to be released by Margao SDM upon executing personal bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties.
While the Police has detained and arrested the PFI members under preventive detention under Section 151 of the CrPC, South Goa district Police, SP Abhishek Dhani has warned of action as per the law against PFI member, or associate if they carry out any activities of the organisation which does not exist anymore after the ban has come into force across the country.
Reports of the police cracking a whip against members of the banned organisation has come from Margao police sub-division comprising of the police stations of Margao, Cuncolim, Fatorda and Maina-Curtorim, besides the police stations at Vasco and Ponda.
While the Cuncolim police arrested the PFI State unit president, Sheikh Abdul Rauf on Wednesday morning soon after the ban of PFI came into force, Rauf was ordered to be released by Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Margao John Fernandes upon executing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties.
In the case of other arrested PFI activists and members, they were not produced before the Magistrates, either before SDM John Fernandes or SDM Uday Prabhudesai till late Wednesday evening, with sources saying the members will be produced before the SDMs either later tonight or on Thursday.
A PFI member told The Goan from the Fatorda police station that they were called by the police around 1.30 pm on Wednesday with a request to report to the police station for an inquiry. “I immediately reported to the police leaving my lunch, but I was kept waiting at the police station for hours. If the police wanted to arrest me, they could have done so immediately and produced me before the Magistrate,” he said, while charging the police for deliberately not producing them before for the magistrate so that they are forced to spend the night at the police station.
Earlier in the day, district Police chief, SP Abhishek Dhania said the police has acted against the PFI members after notification of the ban imposed by the Centre. “We are working out the modalities how to go about enforcing the ban on the PFI since the organisation does not exist any more.” he added.
CM welcomes ban
PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday welcomed the ban imposed by the Centre on Popular Front of India (PFI) and other affiliates.
“I welcome the step taken by the Government of India towards securing National interest and internal security,” Sawant said in reaction to the ban announced by the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the police said action as per law will be taken against PFI members if found involved in any activity related to the banned organisations.
South Goa Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Dhaniya, IPS. said: “If members are found to be involved in any activity now, including carrying flag, action will be taken against them as per law.”
Strict vigil is being kept but no arrests have been made thus far in Goa, Dhaniya added.