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2 PLFI Members Arrested after NIA Conducts Raids at 23 Locations

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested two persons after carrying out searches at over 23 locations in Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, in connection with the People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) extortion and levy collection case.

An official said that an Indian Army uniform, along with arms, ammunition, incriminating devices and documents, cash and jewellery, during raids across four states were also recovered.

The arrested individuals have been Raman Kumar Sonu a.k.a. Sonu Pandit of Bihar and Nivesh Kumar of Delhi.

The official said that both the accused have been named in the FIR registered by NIA in the case relating to extortion or levy collection by the leaders, cadres and sympathisers of PLFI in various states of India.

An NIA spokesperson here said that the accused and suspects against whom the NIA cracked down on Friday were all cadres and sympathisers of PLFI, a banned terror organisation in Jharkhand.

They were involved in a conspiracy to carry out violent acts and commit terrorist activities, the official said.

The official said that on Friday a total of 23 locations connected with the banned outfit and the accused were searched across Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

The NIA carried out searches at 19 locations in Jharkhand’s Gumla, Ranchi, Khunti, Simdega, Palamu and West Singhbhum districts, one location each in Bihar’s Patna and Madhya Pradesh Siddhi and two locations in Delhi.

The official said that during the searches, two pistols, live rounds (7.86 mm), Rs 3 lakh in cash, incriminating materials, including digital devices (mobile phones, SIM cards, pen drives, DVR) and documents (diary and a bunch of papers), as well as gold and silver jewellery were seized, in addition to the Indian Army uniform.

NIA had registered the case suo moto on October 11 this year under various sections of IPC and UA(P) Act, 1967, following information about financing of terrorist activities through extortion by PLFI cadres.

“NIA investigations so far have revealed that cadres of the banned organisation were involved in generating funds through extortion from various coal traders, transporters, railway contractors and businessmen in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha,” the official said.

“They were also conspiring to commit various terrorist activities, including attacks on the security forces, murder, arson, and use of explosives or IEDs to create terror in the society,” the official said.

The official also said that as per the investigations, the PLFI cadres were also involved in other nefarious activities, such as recruitment and procurement of arms and ammunition, apart from collection of levy.

“Investigations in the ongoing case have further revealed that the leaders, cadres and sympathisers of PLFI were conspiring to revive and expand the organization in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and other PLFI affected states,” the official added.

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