New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Monday announced that it had arrested 108 members of the group Popular Front of India (PFI) in the last four days in connection with the violent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests across the state last month, taking the total number of PFI workers arrested since last month to 133. Also Read - ‘Home Ministry Will Decide Further Action on PFI,’ Says RS Prasad Amid Demands to Ban The Outfit
Violent anti-CAA protests had taken place across the state between December 19-21, including at several places in state capital Lucknow on December 19. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh Govt Seeks Ban on PFI For Inciting Violence in State Over Citizenship Act
Addressing a press conference, UP Additional Chief Secretary Awanish K Awasthi said, “108 people have been arrested in the last four days, these are in addition to the 25 who were arrested earlier.” Also Read - Lucknow Violence: Uttar Pradesh Police Blames PFI For Riots, Three Key Members Arrested
“More information is being gathered about the organisation, including information of their financial transactions. We are also taking assistance from central agencies, our target is to identify them and take action,” he added.
Last month, several top members of the PFI, including its state unit chief Waseem Ahmad, were arrested by the police for its role in violence across the state, especially in Lucknow. Then-Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), seeking a ban on the group.
The violent protests triggered a crackdown by the police during which it was accused of severe excesses with over 20 people, including those who did not take part in any of the protests, were killed. The Allahabad High Court recently asked the state government for a report on the police action.