New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested two accused and seized an Indian Army uniform, along with arms and ammunition, among other incriminating materials, during raids at 23 places across four states in a People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI) extortion and levy collection case.

Raman Kumar Sonu alias Sonu Pandit of Bihar and Nivesh Kumar of south-west district of Delhi were arrested in the NIA crackdown against the cadres of PLFI, a banned terror organization in Jharkhand. Both the accused are named in the FIR registered by NIA in the case (RC-04/2023/NIA-RNC), relating to extortion and levy collection by the leaders, cadres and sympathisers of PLFI in various states of India.

The arrest followed raids at 23 places linked to the cadres and sympathisers of PLFI. The places raided include Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi. These included 19 locations in Jharkhand (Gumla, Ranchi, Khunti, Simdega, Palamu, and West Singhbhum districts), one location each in Bihar (Patna district) and Madhya Pradesh (Siddhi district), and two locations in New Delhi.

During the searches, two pistols, live rounds (7.86 mm), Rs 3,00,000 in cash, incriminating materials, including digital devices (mobile phones, SIM cards, Pen drives, DVR) and documents (diary and a bunch of papers), as well as gold and silver jewellery were seized, in addition to the Indian Army uniform.

NIA had registered the case suo moto on October 11 this year under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, following information about financing of terrorist activities through extortion by PLFI cadres.

The NIA investigations so far have revealed that cadres of the banned organization were involved in generating funds through extortion from various coal traders, transporters, railway contractors and businessmen in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. "They were also conspiring to commit various terrorist activities, including attacks on the security forces, murder, arson, and the use of explosives and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) to create terror in society."

As per the investigations, the NIA said the PLFI cadres were also involved in other nefarious activities, such as recruitment and procurement of arms and ammunition, apart from collection of levy.

"Investigations in the ongoing case have further revealed that the leaders, cadres and sympathisers of PLFI were conspiring to revive and expand the organization in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and other PLFI-affected states," added the agency.