Alleged PFI men got funds to stoke riots in Hathras, says STF


U.P. STF files 5,000-page chargesheet against 8 men.

The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (UPSTF) filed a chargesheet against eight members of the Popular Front of India in a Mathura Court on Saturday.

They have been accused of receiving funds from abroad to foment riots in Hathras in the wake of the alleged gang rape and murder of a Dalit girl in September 2020.

The court took cognisance of the chargesheet and fixed May 1 as the date of the next hearing.

In the 5,000-page chargesheet, the PFI members identified as Atiq-ur-Rehman, Siddique Kappan, Masood Ahmed, Alam, Rauf Sheriff, Anshad Badarduddin, Firoz, and Danish have been accused of sedition and charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and Information Technology Act 2000.

They have been accused of receiving funds of about โ‚น80 lakhs from financial institutions in Doha and Muscat to create trouble. The STF said incriminating evidence were recovered from the laptops and mobile phones of the accused.

Defence lawyer Madhuvan Dutt Chaturvedi said the accused had denied the allegations, terming them โ€œas vague, groundless and initiated for promoting ideological agenda of the State government.โ€

โ€œThe STF has filed chargesheet for the same fund in Rauf’s case which has not been considered ‘proceed of crime’ by Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA) in Ernakulum,โ€ said Mr Chaturvedi.

He further said the accused also complained of misbehaviour in jail and said they had not been provided any food for the last 24 hours. โ€œIt is pertinent to mention that Siddique Kappan is a sugar patient and Atiqur Rehman is suffering from aortic regurgitation,โ€ said Mr Chaturvedi.

He said the court had earlier passed orders in this regard but they had not been complied with.

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