Bengaluru, Sep 22 (IANS): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids continued on the offices and residences of the leaders of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Dakshina Kannada district and Bengaluru on Thursday amid protests.
Hundreds of SDPI and PFI workers staged a protest in front of the residence of the PFI's National Secretary Mohammad Shakif in Richmond Town of Bengaluru. The protesters were reined in by the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRCT).
The raids were conducted at the PFI secretary Afsar Pasha and SDPI state president Nasir Pasha's residences in Bengaluru.
The raids have also been conducted in Sirsi and Koppal cities of Karnataka. Sources said that the NIA raided 12 locations.
The raids were being conducted in the backdrop of the murder of Hindu activists. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had repeatedly stated that they would go to the roots of the well-oiled network, which is indulging in killing the Hindu activists.
As soon as the raids began with heavy police security cover on the head office of SDPI located on the Nellikai Road in Mangaluru, hundreds of SDPI workers gathered at the spot and demanded that the NIA should stop the raids. They also raised 'go back' NIA slogans.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner N. Shashikumar rushed to the spot with additional force. After the group failed to get convinced, the police cracked down and took more than 60 into custody and dispersed the crowd.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Shashikumar appealed to the people not to heed to news being circulated on social media. "We are vigilant on messages that are being spread to create confusion.
The NIA began its raids at 3 a.m. on Thursday. SDPI leader Ataulla Jokatte has said that three of their leaders -- Ashraf A.K., Mohiyuddin Haleyangadi and Nawaz Kavur have been detained by NIA. However, an official announcement was yet to be made in this regard.