UAPA Case: Delhi HC Seeks NIA’s Response on PFI Chief OMA Salam’s Plea

OMA Salam

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) response on a plea for interim bail filed by OMA Salam, a leader of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI). Salam is currently arrested under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

A division bench consisting of Justice Prathiba M. Singh and Justice Amit Sharma issued a notice on Salam’s appeal against a trial court order that denied him interim bail. The court has directed the NIA to file its response within two weeks.

Salam’s counsel requested a two-week interim bail, citing that Salam’s daughter had passed away in April and that his wife was in a “depressive state.” The court has scheduled the next hearing for July 25.

Salam, the chairman of PFI, was arrested by the NIA during a large-scale crackdown on the banned organization in 2022. The NIA has alleged that the PFI, its officers, and its members engaged in a criminal conspiracy to raise funds for committing acts of terror across various parts of the country and conducted training camps to indoctrinate and prepare their cadres for such activities.

Before the ban, in near-simultaneous raids across the country as part of a multi-agency operation led by the NIA, numerous PFI activists were detained or arrested in 11 states for allegedly supporting terror activities. The arrests occurred in Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Delhi, and Rajasthan.

On September 28, 2022, the government banned the PFI and several of its associated organizations for five years under the UAPA, accusing them of having links with global terror groups like ISIS.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte