Millennium Post

Home Ministry receives ED report on PFI; seeking inputs from states, agencies

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has received a report from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the Popular Front of India (PFI), an alleged radical group, which has been accused of funding some recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), officials said on Thursday.

The central government has also sought inputs from some state governments and other agencies on whether the PFI was allegedly involved in anti-CAA protests in their respective states.

"The home ministry has received a report from the ED on the PFI and it is being examined," a government official said.

The PFI has on several occasions denied having any link with any protest against the CAA in the country.

The ED is believed to have prepared the report after questioning some PFI functionaries in connection with a money laundering probe against the group and an NGO linked to it.

Half a dozen office bearers of the Kerala-based organisation were questioned by the ED early this month about the finances, expenditure, various sources of funding and beneficiaries of the funds generated or distributed by it.

The central probe agency, sources said, also recorded their statements under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED is probing PFI and NGO Rehab India Foundation (RIF) under criminal provisions of the PMLA as part of an enforcement case information report (ECIR) or FIR filed in 2018.

It is also probing charges that the organisations received and distributed funds from their bank accounts that were allegedly used to fuel some protests against the CAA in various parts of the country.

Sources have said that a total amount of Rs 120 crore, credited at varied times into the bank accounts linked to the PFI, RFI and few others, are under the ED's scanner as part of this investigation.

"The Popular Front of India has stated it multiple times that we fully comply with the law of the land and the allegation of Rs 120 crore transferred from the Popular Front's accounts just before the CAA protests is totally baseless and the people who are levelling these allegations should prove these claims," PFI had earlier said in a statement.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) FIR and charge sheet against the PFI formed the basis for the ED to file the PMLA case two years back.

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