PFI formed ‘killer squads’ to identify targets, NIA files chargesheet against 20 PFI members

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On July 26, Nettaru, a resident of Bellare and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was allegedly killed with sharp weapons by cadres of the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI).

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on January 20, 2023, filed chargesheet against twenty accused in NIA Special Court, Bengaluru, in a case pertaining to the murder of Praveen Nettaru, BJP Yuva Morcha member, by cadres/members of banned organization Popular Front of India (PFI).

As per the NIA press release, the case was initially registered on July 27, 2022, at Bellare Police Station of Dakshina Kannada District and later re-registered by NIA on August 4, 2022.

The 20 accused persons' chargesheeted are:

  1. Mahammed Shiyab
  2. Abdul Basheer
  3. Riyaz
  4. Mustafa Paichar @ Mahmmad Musthaf
  5. Masud K A
  6. Kodaje Mohammed Sherif
  7. Abubakkar Siddik
  8. Noufal M
  9. Ismail Shafi
  10. K Mahammad Iqbal
  11. Shaheed M
  12. Mahammad Shafeek G
  13. Ummar Farook M R
  14. Abdul Kabeer C A
  15. Muhammad Ibrahim Sha
  16. Sainul Abid Y
  17. Shekh Saddam Hussain
  18. Zakiar A
  19. N Abdul Haris
  20. Thufail M H

All the twenty accused persons have been chargesheeted under Sections 120B, 153A, 302, and 34 of IPC and Sections 16, 18, and 20 of the UA (P) Act, 1967, Section 25(1)(a) of the Arms Act.

The NIA investigations revealed that the PFI formed secret teams called "Service Teams or Killer Squads" to carry out killings of its 'perceived enemies' and targets as part of its agenda to create terror, communal hatred, and unrest in society and to further its agenda of establishing Islamic Rule by 2047. These Service Team members were given Arms, Attack, and Surveillance training in order to identify, list, and mount surveillance on individuals/leaders belonging to specific communities and groups.

On the orders of senior PFI leaders, these Service Team members were further trained to assault/kill identified targets. Following conspiracy meetings held by PFI members and leaders in Bengaluru, Sullia Town, and Bellare Village, the head of the District Service Team, Mustafa Paichar, was directed to recce, identify, and target a prominent member of a specific community.

“As per instructions, four persons were recced and identified and among them Praveen Nettaru, who was BJP Yuva Morcha, District Committee Member, was assaulted and killed on 26.07.2022 in full public view with lethal weapons to create terror among the people at large and especially among members of a particular community”, the NIA press release stated.

Among the chargesheeted accused  Mustafa Paichar, Masud K A, Kodaje Mohammed Sherif, Abubakkar Siddik, Ummar Farook M R, and Thufail M H are currently on the run, and rewards have been declared for information leading to their capture.