National Security Advisor Ajit Doval kept the entire plan undercover under the directions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The secret operation
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was commissioning the INS Vikrant in Kochi on September 2, his security team led by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was drawing a plan to take out the entire network of the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala, said India Today.
During his visit to Kochi for the aircraft carrier commissioning, Doval held several meetings with the police officials of Kerala to act against the PFI operatives. From Kerala, the NSA went to Mumbai, where he lived in the Governor’s house and held meetings with security officials.
The meetings with the security agencies were conducted with the same level of secrecy as before the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir or the Uri surgical strike. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, and Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) Dinkar Gupta were among the top officials who attended the high-level meeting.
The operation was planned three to four months in advance in consultation with Islamic leaders. NSA Doval kept the entire plan undercover under the directions of Home Minister Amit Shah. The Home Minister is said to have taken stock of the action taken against the terror suspects and activists of the PFI across the country, an official said.
The aircraft carrier commissioning day
On the aircraft carrier commissioning day, over 200 officers of the National Investigative Agency (NIA), the Enforcement Directorate, and anti-terror squads of at least ten state police launched a mega crackdown on PFI terror links. Raids were conducted at over 150 locations in more than 15 states and 106 PFI leaders and members were arrested.
The maximum number of arrests were made in Kerala (22) followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka (20 each), Tamil Nadu (10), Assam (9), Uttar Pradesh (8), Andhra Pradesh (5), Madhya Pradesh (4), Puducherry and Delhi (3 each) and Rajasthan (2), reported Outlook India.
According to the officials, the arrests were made during the raids which have been termed the “largest-ever investigation process to date”.
Sources said aircraft were also kept ready on time to pick up PFI terror operatives and bring them to different locations for investigation.
NSA Ajit Doval was monitoring the operation 24×7 and coordinating with states. Sources also said that what’s important to note is that not a single bullet was fired during the entire operation. More such procedures will be carried out against terror groups based on the information received by the agencies.