The anti-terror federal probe agency NIA on Friday (October 20, 2023) said that that it has arrested a key member of the banned terrorist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) in connection with the murder of Kerala-based Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Srinivasan in April, 2022.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in an official statement said that the arrested accused, Shihab alias Babu, had been on the run since the commission of the crime, but its ‘dedicated absconder tracking team’ successfully traced and tracked him to his residence in Kerala’s Malappuram district and subsequently apprehended him.
Srinivasan was killed in Palakkad on April 16, 2022.
“Investigations revealed that Shihab was an integral part of the terror ecosystem being operated by the PFI, which was responsible for orchestrating the murder of Srinivasan,” the NIA said in the statement.
“It is believed that Shihab, acting in line with a conspiracy hatched by the PFI leaders, harboured Muhammed Hakeem, who, at the behest of PFI leadership, was responsible for the destruction of crucial evidence in the case,” the agency further alleged.
On March 17, 2023, the NIA filed a charge sheet against a total of 59 accused in the case and then on May 16 this year, the agency’s Absconder Tracking Team achieved a significant milestone by tracing and tracking down and apprehending Saheer KV, who had been absconding for long.
So far, a total of 69 individuals have been identified as being involved in the conspiracy, the NIA said.