The Narendra Modi government has banned the Popular Front Of India (PFI) for five years over its links with terrorist activities. The decision comes after a nationwide crackdown which had resulted in the arrest of over 240 leaders and workers of the organisation.
A government notification said the PFI and its affiliate organisations or fronts have been declared “unlawful association with immediate effect under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).”
The notification issued by the Union Home Ministry mentions the outfit’s links with banned terrorist groups such as Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and said that PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases.
The Centre issued the ban citing the investigation of its agencies, mentioning “the investigations have established clear linkages between PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts”.
It is also accused 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 proscribed organisations.”
“There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase radicalization 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 explains.
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 the internal security of the country”, the notification added.
The three states of Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have recommended a ban on the organisation.
The notification said that PFI and its associates or affiliates have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are “prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country”, and that they have the potential to disturb public peace and communal harmony.
“With funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country,” the notification added.
According to the charge-sheet filed by the ED, PFI has formed committees in UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other places to raise funds. Targets are given to individuals to collect cash and transfer the same to India through Hawala or camouflaged as genuine business transactions.
Also read: PFI’s vicious circle of friends from Turkey and Pakistan to Al Qaeda and ISIS