The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has arrested an Advocate practicing in the Kerala High Court in the raids conducted by it yesterday in the houses of second-rung leaders of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala.

In the raids conducted in 56 different locations in Kerala in the early morning on Thursday, the NIA took into custody Advocate Muhammed Mubarak. His arrest was recorded today and he was produced today before the Special NIA Court in Ernakulam. The Court has remanded him to judicial custody till January 13.

He is the fourteenth person to be arrested by NIA from Kerala in connection with the PFI. He was arrested from Vyppin in Ernakulam District of Kerala.

As per the NIA, Muhammed Mubarak was part of the murder squad of the PFI and was giving training in martial arts to other members of such squads of the PFI. The PFI has carried out many murders in the recent past in Kerala, including the gruesome murder of Advocate Ranjith Sreenivasan.

The NIA has recovered deadly weapons like axe, swords and sickles from his house. The weapons were hidden in a badminton racket bag, as per the NIA.

"Investigations have confirmed that the PFI was raising, training and maintaining Hit Squads in different States and districts to target leaders and members of other communities", said NIA in a press release.

As per information available on the website of the Kerala High Court, Advocate Muhammed Mubarak was enrolled in the year 2018 and has entered appearance in around 30 cases in the High Court. As per his profile on Facebook, his wife is also a lawyer.

The PFI was banned on September 27 by declaring it an "unlawful association" under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).

The Center has appointed Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma of the Delhi High Court, as nominated by the Chief Justice of the High Court, as the presiding officer of the UAPA Tribunal in the matter of the ban on PFI and its affiliate organisations.

The writ petition challenging the bringing into force the ban with immediate effect has been dismissed by the Karnataka High Court.