New Delhi: PFI banned: According to a government notification, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has declared the PFI and any affiliate organisations or fronts to be a “unlawful association” with immediate effect (UAPA).
PFI and numerous other related organisations were prohibited for five years by the Center. According to the notification, some PFI activists joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and participated in terrorism there. According to the MHA, it committed violent crimes in India, including amputating a college professor’s arm.
With immediate effect and for a period of five years, the Indian government has proclaimed the Popular Front of India, together with any of its affiliates, partners, or fronts, to be unlawful associations.
The decision to ban #PFI in principle was taken before PM Modi went to #Japan for Shinzo Abe's funeral and Home Minister Amit Shah went to #Gujarat for election rallies.
(report by Shishir Gupta)https://t.co/XUARJJprLT
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) September 28, 2022
The action comes after two waves of widespread nationwide raids targeting PFI leaders in terror fund charges. In the notification, the Center claimed that the PFI, which is linked to numerous criminal and terrorism cases and exhibits blatant disrespect for the nation’s constitutional authorities thanks to outside financial and ideological support, has grown to pose a serious threat to the internal security of the nation.
According to MHA, the state governments of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka have all proposed banning PFI. The group will continue its subversive activities, it was added, disrupting public order and undermining the country’s constitutional system; encouraging and enforcing a terror-based regressive regime; continuing to spread anti-national sentiments and radicalise a certain segment of society with the aim of fostering discontent against the nation; and escalating activities that are harmful to the integrity, security, and sovereignty of the country.
PFI & its associates incl 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 &Rehab Foundation, Kerala declared unlawful associations
— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2022
The prohibition comes shortly after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies conducted a nationwide operation on September 22 and detained 109 members of the organisations. In order for PFI to present a defence against the prohibition, MHA will now establish a tribunal under UAPA to hear the issue.
PFI and its affiliates “operate openly as a socio-economic, educational, and political organisation, but they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a specific segment of the society working toward undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country.”
#BREAKING Central Government bans Popular Front of India and associated entities for a period of five years under the UAPA.#PFI #PFICrackdown pic.twitter.com/Aka8yQfeDs
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 28, 2022
The PFI cadres, according to the ministry, have been involved in a number of terrorist attacks and the murder of numerous people, 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 (Karnataka, 2022). According to the announcement, the majority of the murder victims were affiliated with the BJP, the RSS, or other Hindu organisations.
Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala also declared “unlawful association”
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) September 28, 2022
Notification served from the MHA, some of the PFI’s founding members include the leaders of the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), both of which are banned organisations. The group allegedly participated in terrorist acts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan and has connections to international terrorist groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to the report, State Police and Central Agencies have detained some of the PFI cadres affiliated to ISIS in these fighting zones and murdered others.
“…in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government hereby declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associated or affiliates or fronts including Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala, as an ‘unlawful association’,” the notification read
And Whereas, having regard to the foregoing circumstances, the Central Government is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associated or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and as a result, the Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under Section 4 of the said Act,
According to the notification, the PFI is continuing its subversive actions, upsetting public order, and supporting a terror-based regressive regime, therefore the government believes there is no immediate way to stop or regulate their illegal activities.
It stated that there had been several cases of PFI having connections with foreign terrorist organisations, and that some of its members had joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and taken part in terrorist acts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
“The PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly participating in violent and subversive acts, according to investigations into a number of cases. PFI has committed violent crimes including the amputation of a college professor’s limb, the cold-blooded murder of people affiliated with organisations that support different religions, the acquisition of explosives to target well-known individuals and locations, and the destruction of public property “It read.
Investigations, on report to MHA, have clearly shown connections between PFI and its partners, affiliates, or fronts. Rehab India Foundation raises money through PFI members; some PFI members are also involved with Campus Front of India, Empower India Foundation, Rehab Foundation, Kerala; and the PFI leaders oversee and coordinate the activities of the Junior Front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), and National Women’s Front.
The government claimed that the PFI established the front organisations with the sole purpose of boosting its influence and capacity for fundraising among various societal groups, including youth, students, women, Imams, lawyers, and weaker societal groups. It was also said that the front groups work as “roots and capillaries” via which the PFI is fed and strengthened, with the PFI functioning as the Hub and using the affiliate groups’ large-scale outreach and fundraising power to strengthen its capacity for illegal actions.