ED: PFI funds behind anti-CAA protests in UP


New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found that the recent violent protests in Uttar Pradesh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) had a “financial link” with the Kerala-based outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), official sources said on Monday.

The agency, which is probing the PFI under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) since 2018, has found that at least Rs 120 crore were deposited in bank accounts in western Uttar Pradesh after the Act was passed by Parliament late

last year.

It is suspected and alleged that these funds were used by PFI affiliates to fuel anti-CAA protests in various parts of UP, sources said, citing the findings of the Enforcement Directorate probe report. They said the ED has shared these findings with the Union home ministry.

The UP police had also recently sought a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), days after its complicity was suspected in the statewide violent protests against the amended citizenship law. Nearly 20 people had died during these protests. The ED, sources said, found the funds deposited in bank were also routed from some foreign shores and were sent in the accounts of certain investment firms.

A National Investigation Agency’s First Information Report and charge sheet against the PFI had formed the basis for the ED to file a PMLA case against it.  The PFI was formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF).