NEW DELHI: Anti-Israeli statements given in January this year, on the eve of Foreign Minister S M Krishna’s two-day visit to Israel, by leaders of Popular Front of India (PFI), a Kerala-based group, has made their members prime suspects in the case of the attack on the Israeli’s diplomat’s wife in Delhi on February 13.
A month before, on January 13, PFI chairman E M Abdul Rahiman had bitterly criticised the Indian government for growing closeness with Israel in anti-terror operations. He’d also warned against India’s decision to allow Israel to open a consulate in Bangalore.
Statements by PFI and affiliates are crucial to investigators, who suspects the ‘bike bomber’ was a ‘local’ youth, affiliated to the terror organisation. The PFI, in their recent activities, has displayed potential of organising armed attacks.
The PFI first hit national headlines on July 4, 2010, when its activists chopped off the palm of a lecturer in Ernakulum district’s Newman College, for alleged blasphemy in preparation of the college’s examination questions. The case is being investigated by the NIA (National Investigation Agency).
“The joint decision by India and Israel to open Israel’s consulate in Bangalore is a threat to our national interests. It will be a catalyst to the communal and terrorist agenda of Hindutva fascist outfits, particularly in Karnataka state, which is already in their grip,” said Rahiman in a statement to press on January 13.
“It amounts to mere mockery, because Israel is by itself a fountainhead of terrorism globally. Unfortunately, our government is acting as a tool to implement aggressive policies of USA and its ally Israel,” he further said, condemning India for signing a pact with Israel to forge anti-terror activities.
Another of PFI’s fraternal organisations, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), too, has given provocative statements against Israel. SDPI president E Abubacker, and general secretary A Sayeed, in a joint statement, said: “India seeking to forge a joint strategy with Israel to deal with the scourge of terrorism is a big joke, as the latter, over nine decades, has been massacring unarmed Palestinians, including women and children, with impunity. It is pertinent to note increasing cooperation between New Delhi and Tel Aviv makes India’s stand on the Palestine imbroglio a farce.”
The duo also castigated the Congress-led UPA government for increasing closeness with Israel. Investigation into PFI activities has revealed it had managed to establish a pan-India network in less than three years of its existence, indicating it is receiving money from ‘unknown’ supporters in foreign countries, especially Gulf nations. It has floated several front organisations to carry out various activities. Some of them identified by intelligence agencies are—All India Imam Council, to target religious leaders, the Campus Front of India, to target students, the Muslim Relief Network, to provide free scholarships and monetary benefits to the needy in the community, and the National Women’s Front, to woo women. Intelligence agencies have found the two organisations have several common links with the banned terrorist organisation SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India). Both groups are headed by former SIMI members. Abubacker, the head of the SDPI, launched in Delhi on July 29, 2009, was the Kerala president of SIMI in 1982-84. SIMI has an wide network in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and was headquartered in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar.