The “secret killer squads “ of the Popular Front of India (PFI) have faced the first big action in court by the NIA which has filed a charge-sheet against 20 accused in connection with the brutal murder of Praveen Nettaru, a member of the BJP Yuva Morcha.
Among the charge-sheeted accused, Mustafa Paichar, Masud K A, Kodaje Mohammed Sherif, Abubakkar Siddik, Ummar Farook M R and Thufail M H are currently absconding and rewards have been declared for information leading to their arrest.
Nettaru was assaulted and killed in full public view with lethal weapons by cadres of PFI on July 26 last year in Bellare village of Sullia Taluk in Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district. The NIA says the intention was to strike terror in society and create fear among the people.
The NIA charge-sheet says that the PFI, as part of its agenda to create terror, communal hatred and unrest in society, formed secret teams called Service Teams or Killer Squads to carry out killings of its ‘perceived enemies’ and targets. These Service Team members were given arms as well as attack training and training in surveillance techniques in order to identify, list out, and to mount surveillance on individuals and leaders belonging to certain communities and groups, it said.
These Service Team members were further trained to assault and kill identified targets, on the instructions of senior PFI leaders. The aim was to further its agenda of establishing Islamic Rule by 2047. As a result, conspiracy meetings were held by PFI members and leaders in Bengaluru city, Sullia town and Bellare village, where the head of District Service Team Mustafa Paichar was instructed to recce, identify and target a prominent member of a particular community.
Instructions were given out and the hit squad zeroed down on four persons—they were then recced for some time before the target was decided. It was then that Nettaru was assaulted and killed as a message to a particular community, said the NIA in its charge-sheet .
The accused persons who have been charge-sheeted under the anti-terror law UAPA, Arms Act and various IPC sections of murder and criminal conspiracy are Mohammed Shiyab from Sullia Town in Dakshina Kannada District; Abdul Basheer from Sullia Taluk; Riyaz from Palthadi in Dakshina Kannada; Mustafa Paichar from Sullia; Masud K A; Kodaje Mohammed Sherif; Abubakkar Siddik; Noufal M; Ismail Shafi; K Mahammad Iqbal; Shaheed M; Mahammad Shafeek G; Ummar Farook; Abdul Kabeer; Muhammad Ibrahim Sha; Sainul Abid Y; Shekh Saddam Hussain; Zakiar A; N Abdul Haris and Thufail M H from Karnataka.