Centre bans Popular Front of India for 5 years, citing ‘terrorist links’ – Flying Journals

PFI banned: PFI has been pushing a secret agenda to radicalize specific segments of society

New Delhi:

After two rounds of nationwide raids and arrests of more than 240 members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) in a week, the centre last night banned the group for five years on suspicion of terrorist activities.

The government said the PFI and its affiliated organisations have been declared an “illegal association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on the grounds that the organisation is linked to the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh Islamic State (JMB) and the Islamic State or Islamic State, and said PFI was involved in several criminal and terrorist cases.

“With external funding and ideological support, it has become a major threat to the country’s internal security,” the interior ministry order said.

“In the past, members of the PFI have committed several criminal activities and brutal murders, creating a reign of terror in the minds of the public,” it said.

The Home Office said the PFI and its affiliates have been engaged in illegal activities that “undermine the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country” and that they have the potential to disrupt public peace and community harmony.

The ministry said the PFI had been “promoting a secret agenda to radicalize specific segments of society”, adding that the group had “complete disrespect for the country’s constitutional authority”.

Three states – Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh – have recommended banning the group, the ministry said.

PFI leaders and staff in 15 states were raided for the first time on September 22, resulting in the arrest of more than 100 people, coordinated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NIA), the Department of Law Enforcement (ED) and state police.

Yesterday, there was a second round of crackdowns against the group nationwide. A total of 247 people have been arrested so far, officials said.

In addition to PFI, organizations associated with it are also banned. These are Indian Rehabilitation Foundation (RIF), Indian School Front (CF), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Federation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Youth Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehabilitation Foundation, Kerala.

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