The Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates were declared as an unlawful organisation and banned with immediate effect, for a period of five years, by the Union government on Tuesday.

PFI hartal in KeralaPTI
news PFI Ban Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 09:21

The Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates have been declared as an unlawful organisation and banned with immediate effect, for a period of five years, by the Union government. A notification to the effect was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on Tuesday, September 27. Eight associate organisations of PFI have been declared unlawful associations: Rehab India Foundation(RIF), Campus Front of India(CFI), All India Imams Council(AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Org (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Jr Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. Here are the reasons for which the organisation has been banned, as per the MHA notification:

> The listed associates of PFI have been stated to have a ‘Hub and Spoke’ relationship, with the PFI acting as the Hub and utilizing the mass outreach and fundraising capacity of its associates for strengthening its “capability for unlawful activities”, and the associates function as ‘roots and capillaries’ through which the PFI is “fed and strengthened”.

> The MHA has stated that the PFI and its associates operate openly as socio-economic, educational and political organization but, they have been pursuing “a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society” working towards undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country.

> The MHA says that the PFI and its associates have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are against the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the potential of disturbing public peace and communal harmony of the country, as well as support militancy in the country.

> MHA has also pointed out that some of the PFI’s founding members are the leaders of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are banned organisations.

> MHA says that PFI had connections with “Global Terrorist Groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)” and that the PFI and its associates have been working “covertly to increase radicalization of one community” by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country.

Along with the above reasons, MHA also takes note of the following points:

> MHA says that repeated investigations have shown that the PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly engaging in violent and subversive acts, including chopping off the limb of a Malayalam college professor; alleged cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths; obtaining explosives to target prominent people and places and destruction of public property.

> Further, MHA also says that the PFI cadres have been allegedly involved in several terrorist acts and allged murder of several persons, including Sanjith (Kerala, November, 2021), V Ramalingam, (Tamil Nadu, 2019), Nandu, (Kerala, 2021), Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018), Bibin (Kerala, 2017), Sharath (Karnataka, 2017), R Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016), Praveen Pujari (Karnataka, 2016), Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016) and Praveen Nettaru (Karnataka, 2022).

> The PFI, raising funds from within India and abroad through the banking channels, as well as hawala, donations, etc. is alleged to be part of a well-crafted criminal conspiracy, which includes “transferring, layering and integrating” these funds through multiple accounts to make them legitimate and using it to carry out various “criminal, unlawful and terrorist activities in India”.

> The MHA also points out that the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have recommended banning PFI.

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