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NIA raids residence of prisoners’ rights activist Abdul Wahid Shaikh in Mumbai

Mumbai, October 12, 2023: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted a raid at the residence of Abdul Wahid Shaikh, an activist for prisoners’ rights, in Vikhroli, Mumbai. The operation was part of the NIA’s efforts against the Popular Front of India (PFI), which had been banned since September 2022. The NIA said it was investigating registered groups and activists suspected of reviving the PFI under a different identity and engaging in questionable fundraising and other activities.

Video grab of Abdul Wahid Shaikh

In 2015, after being incarcerated for 9 years, Shaikh was exonerated of charges related to the 7/11 Mumbai train bombings. Despite his acquittal, he claims that law enforcement agencies continued to harass him. He is a teacher at Anjuman-i-Islam Abdus Sattar Shoaib School. Following his release, he pursued legal studies. He is currently pursuing a doctorate and leads the Innocence Network, a collective that does advocacy work for individuals who are unjustly detained by providing them with pro bono legal support.

There was great commotion outside Shaikh’s house after he failed to open his door when the NIA officers arrived at around 5.30 AM. He then uploaded a video in which he said: “Some people pretending to be police officers came to my house at 5 AM. I complained to the local police and the Mumbai Police Commissioner and informed the media.” After his lawyer, Ibrahim Harbat reached Abdul Wahid’s house, and after much negotiation and argument with the NIA, the raid finally began at around 11 AM.

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