The BJP plans to target the BJP’s top leader and the party’s ideological mentor RSS during next month’s 10-day festival and monitor their movements, sources in the Maharashtra counter-terrorism team said. .
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) last week raided offices of the Popular Front of India (PFI) across the country, accusing PFI members of having been cooperating with terrorist groups.
The Nagpur headquarters of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, is among the PFI targets, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Sources said the PFI specifically planned to monitor the movements of senior RSS leaders in Dussehra, Maharashtra.
Last week, the NIA arrested hundreds of PFI members in raids in 10 states, including 20 from Maharashtra.
The state of Assam, which arrested several PFI members last week, has asked the Home Ministry to ban PFIs for alleged links to terrorist groups. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has raised concerns that since PFIs are spread across the country and cannot be fought by a single state, it needs to be banned by the centre.
Assam police said a key member of the PFI, Minarul Sheikh, is currently in Assam police custody and is investigating suspected links between the group and al-Qaeda-backed terror groups. Sheikh holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies.
According to police, he was a key PFI member who raised funds for the group. He has been guiding the Assam leadership of the PFI during the violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAA in 2019.