Popular Front condemns the arrest of Kerala state leader by ED

13 April 2022
New Delhi

Popular Front condemns the arrest of Kerala state leader by ED

Popular Front of India Chairman O M A Salam has strongly condemned the arrest of M K Ashraf, a Kerala state leader of the organization, by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday, and he called the arrest part of the ongoing witch-hunt against the organization.

The arrest of M K Ashraf, a Kerala State Executive Council Member of Popular Front is part of the ongoing harassment by the agency against the leaders and members of the organization for the past few years. A false case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was intentionally registered against the organization four years back. Even though summonses were issued by ED in a harassing manner with ulterior motives, as the law-abiding citizens, the leaders from the national level to the state level have been cooperating with every step of the investigation and complying with all the conditions put by the agency since January 2020 on multiple occasions. Although ED has not found anything against the organization even after years of its investigation raids, harassment and arrests are continuing on dubious grounds.

M K Ashraf’s residence was raided by the ED last January and subsequently, he was summoned multiple times to Delhi for questioning. In the month of March alone, he was questioned on four consecutive days from 19 to 23 and yet received another summons on 29 asking to appear again on April 5. His request for adjournment pointing to the inconvenience due to Ramadan fasting was rejected. All these show that, rather than a fair investigation, the agency has sinister motives behind the case. Finally, as a law-abiding citizen, when Ashraf appeared at ED’s Delhi headquarters, he was arrested and brought to Lucknow.

Fully convinced that this is an utterly false case initiated against the organization by the home ministry, Popular Front had challenged the very legality of the ECIR (Enforcement Crime Information Report) filed against the organization before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. While the litigation is still pending and the final hearing is just a week away, the questioning and arrests of the leaders and members of the organization are nothing but the cowardly actions of the agency out of the fear that the case may fall apart before the court of law.

By such continuous acts of religious and political vendetta against an organization that stands for minorities, the ED is destroying its credibility as a legal and impartial agency. Their hands being tied from touching the multimillion business frauds enjoying political patronage, the ED is no longer acting as per its stated objectives. It is high time that the higher judiciary intervened in the matter to stop these misconducts by the central agency.

The Popular Front once again urges the ED to refrain from acting like the puppets of sectarian and fanatic political masters for quelling the democratic rights of minorities in the country. Popular Front wants to make it clear that the organization will not be intimidated by these politically motivated cases and will mobilize public opinion against the ED violations while continuing to fight the false cases in courts.

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