Centre bans PFI and 8 affiliate organisations for 5 years

PFI has been added to the list of 42 banned terrorist organisations under Section 35 of the UAPA
Following the banning of the Popular Front of India the CRPF personnel deployed at
‘Kesavasmriti’ the RSS o ce at Aluva to maintain law and order in Kochi.
Following the banning of the Popular Front of India the CRPF personnel deployed at ‘Kesavasmriti’ the RSS o ce at Aluva to maintain law and order in Kochi.ANI

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday banned Popular Front of India and several of its associates under a stringent anti-terror law, accusing them of having “links” with global terror groups like ISIS.

Besides PFI, the organisations which were also declared banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) include Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.

More than 150 people allegedly linked with PFI were detained or arrested in raids across seven states on Tuesday, five days after a similar pan-India crackdown against the 16-year-old group had led to the arrest of over a hundred of its activities and seizure of several dozen properties.

In a late Tuesday night notification, the Union Home Ministry said some PFI founding members are leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Both JMB and SIMI are proscribed organisations.

It said there had been many instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase the radicalisation of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations, the notification claimed.

“Whereas, the Central government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts association outlawed with immediate effect, and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the said Act, declares it as outlawed,” it said.

The Home Ministry said Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat governments had also recommended a ban on PFI. Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam welcomed the decision, saying PFI was posing threat to the country’s unity and integrity.

The Home Ministry claimed that PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been involved in violent terrorist activities with an intent to create a reign of terror in the country, thereby endangering the security and public order of the state.

PFI, the notification alleged, is encouraging and trying to enforce a terror-based regressive regime, continue to propagate anti-national sentiments and radicalising a particular section of society to create disaffection against the country, aggravating activities which are detrimental to the integrity, security and sovereignty of the country.

The home ministry claimed investigations have established clear linkages between PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts.

It said Rehab India Foundation collects funds through PFI members. Some PFI members are also members of Campus Front of India, Empower India Foundation, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. The activities of Junior Front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation and National Women’s Front are monitored/coordinated by the PFI leaders, the notification claimed.

The Centre, through another notification, empowered the state governments to take action against these groups affiliated with the PFI and the possible action against them could be seizure of places and arrest of their members.

The Home Ministry said these associates or affiliates or fronts have a ‘hub and spoke’ relationship.

PFI acts as the hub and utilises the mass outreach and fund-raising capacity of its associates or affiliates or fronts to strengthen its capability for unlawful activities and these associates or affiliates or fronts function as “roots and capillaries through which the PFI is fed and strengthened”, it claimed.

The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as socio-economic educational and political organisations. But they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society, working towards undermining the concept of democracy and showing sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional setup of the country, it alleged.

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