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Modi govt bans PFI, 5 of its associates - Reactions and latest updates

The ban comes after the recent raids carried out at the premises of PFI members by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED). Read More

Wednesday September 28, 2022 11:12 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Modi govt bans PFI, 5 of its associates - Reactions and latest updates

New Delhi: The right-wing Narendra Modi government Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and five of its associates for a period of five years in the wake of nationwide raids against the organisation by law enforcement agencies.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government hereby declares the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates or fronts including 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 as an 'unlawful association'," read a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.


"Whereas, the Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association 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, the Central government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette," it added.

 

As per the notification, the PFI is involved in several "criminal and terror cases" and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country and with funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to internal security of the country.

"Investigations in various cases have revealed that the PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly engaging in violent and subversive acts. Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI include chopping off limb of a college professor, cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, obtaining explosives to target prominent people and places and destruction of public property," it added.

The PFI denies all these allegations.

The ban comes after the recent raids carried out at the premises of PFI members by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED).

On September 22, teams led by the NI) arrested 106 leaders and activists of the PFI in nearly 15 states.

"Ban illegal"

The president of now banned Popular Front of India's (PFI) Tamil Nadu unit, Mohammed Shaik Ansari, said in a statement on Wednesday that the organisation would legally fight the ban.

The statement came after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday morning banned the PFI and its associates for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

PFI ban

The statement issued by Ansari read:

"It has been pronounced that the Popular Front of India has been banned in India. This illegal and undemocratic ban will be challenged by us."

He also said that the organisation would stop all the activities that it has been carrying out in Tamil Nadu.

In a related development, the leader of Dalit political outfit, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Thol Thirumavalavan, also issued a statement opposing the ban on PFI, saying that the 'RSS, the ideological arm of BJP, should also be banned'.

Meanwhile, a few women activists and supporters of SDPI and PFI staged a protest at Ukkadam in Coimbatore.

'Undemocratic, Selective'

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on Wednesday opposed the ban on Popular Front of India (PFI), saying action against an entire organisation "on flimsy and unsubstantiated grounds is unjustified and undemocratic" and questioning the lack of measures against other radical organisations.

In a statement, JIH President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said: "Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses disagreement over the government's decision to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates.

"Banning an organisation is neither a solution nor does it suit a democratic society. The culture of banning the organisations is in itself a clear violation of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution and goes against the democratic spirit and basic civil liberties."

Husaini said they have always opposed the PFI on several counts but that is not the reason to ban an organisation and harass its cadres. "It is the duty of the police and administration to maintain law and order in the country", he said.

"If any individual breaks the law or commits any crime, the individual can be prosecuted and dealt as per the provisions of law and the courts will decide about allegations against them, while those individuals will also have a chance to prove their innocence."

"However, to ban an entire organisation on flimsy and unsubstantiated grounds, is unjustified and undemocratic.

"Recently, we have witnessed many fringe and radical groups openly indulging in hate-mongering and calling for violence. These groups are operating with impunity and no action is being taken against them whatsoever."

"Hence, the ban appears selective, discriminatory, and biased. It will increase the trust deficit between people and the government and send a wrong message to the country. We demand that the ban be revoked at the earliest," he said in the statement.

"A welcome move"

BJP leaders and the states ruled by the party have welcome the ban on PFI and its affiliates.

"I welcome the step that is taken by the Central government towards securing national interest and internal security," Sawant, who also holds the Home portfolio, said.

"I thank the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for declaring PFI and other eight organisations affiliated to it as 'Unlawful Organisations'. The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is firm, committed to protect India against divisive and anti-India forces," Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.

'Right decision at the right time'

The Bihar unit of BJP and RSLP have also welcomed the Home Ministry's move to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates for five years.

BJP OBC Morcha's National General Secretary and Bihar BJP Spokesperson Dr Nikhil Anand said that the outfit was involved in "organising terrorism across the country."

"PFI is an organisation having modus operandi similar to that of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Its operators generally targetted Muslim youths for "anti-national and anti-Hindu" activities," Anand said.

He said the PFI focused on the areas with high Muslim population especially in the bordering districts of India. They even targetted the people going to mosques and madrasas which provided them a safe haven for their evil designs.

Arvind Kumar Singh, another spokesperson of BJP Bihar wing said:

"The central government has taken the right decision at the right time. PFI was involved in anti-national and terror activities and creating the differences in the society."

"Ban not a solution"

CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury meanwhile said banning organisations serve no purpose as they resurface under a different name.

Yechury said the RSS was banned thrice, has it stopped functioning?

"So ban is not a solution. In the past also, banned organisations came up with a new name. Look at SIMI, it was banned and what happened," said Yechury while speaking to the media here.

"All forms of terror activities should be stopped and so should the bull dozer politics," he added.

 

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