The Government of India on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates, affiliates or fronts for 5 years under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The ban on the organisation and its affiliates came days after the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and various state/UT police conducted a nationwide search operations against.
This came after the accusation against it, related to terror activities, terror funding, terror training and radicalisation of vulnerable persons by the leaders and cadres of the outfit. Hundreds of its leaders and people associated with this group have been arrested in past few days.
What is Popular Front of India (PFI)?
Popular Front of India is a Indian Muslim Political Organisation, which was founded in 2006 with the merger of the other two Islamic Organisations- Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) and the National Development Front (NDF).
The organisation describe itself as a non-governmental social organisation committed to empower people to ensure justice, freedom and security. It also advocates Muslim reservation. However, Indian Government has accused it of being involved in anti national and anti-social activities.
As present, the Popular Front of India has a strong presence in Indian Sates of Kerala and Karnataka. It is also active in more than 20 Indian States. As per the claim of the organisation, its cadre strength is in the hundreds of thousands.
Why the Government of India banned PFI?
The Ministry of Home Affair on its official statement said that PFI and its associates as a socio economic, educational and political organisation but had been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society.
It also said that the PFI has been involved in several criminal and terror cases and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country and with funds and ideological supports from outside, it has become a major threat to internal security of the country.
PFI & its associates/affiliates/fronts found to hv bn involved in serious offences, incldng terrorism, its financing, targeted gruesome killings, disregarding Constitutional set up of India, distrbng public order etc. prejudicial to India's integrity, security, sovereignty (2/2) pic.twitter.com/NKGrok7Zjo
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) September 28, 2022
PFI’s Banned Associates, Affiliates and Fronts
Along with Popular Front of India, its eight associates, affiliates and fronts were also banned as “unlawful associations”. The ban was recommended by the stage governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat, as per Central Government’s statement. These groups are:
- Rehab India Foundation (RIF)
- Campus Front of India (CFI)
- All India Imams Council (AIIC)
- National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO)
- National Women’s Front
- Junior Front
- Empower India Foundation
- Rehab Foundation, Kerala
Political Leaders’ Reaction on the ban on the PFI and its associates
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the Center’s move of banning PFI and its associates. The party termed it as a bold and decisive decision by the Modi Government.
From Assam CM Hemanta Biswa Sarma to Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi and other all welcomes this move.
I welcome the ban on (Popular Front of India) PFI by the Government of India.
The Government is firm in its resolve to ensure that anyone with a diabolical, divisive or disruptive design against India shall be dealt with iron fist.
India of Modi Era is Decisive & Bold.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) September 28, 2022
राष्ट्र विरोधी गतिविधियों में संलिप्त पॉपुलर फ्रंट ऑफ इंडिया (PFI) और उसके अनुषांगिक संगठनों पर लगाया गया प्रतिबंध सराहनीय एवं स्वागत योग्य है।
यह 'नया भारत' है, यहां आतंकी, आपराधिक और राष्ट्र की एकता व अखंडता तथा सुरक्षा के लिए खतरा बने संगठन एवं व्यक्ति स्वीकार्य नहीं।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) September 28, 2022
Will Congress leaders like Salman Khurshid, who have in the past walked the path of ignominy, and unsuccessfully defended radical organisation like the SIMI, speak for the now banned terror group?
Congress has actively defended and collaborated with PFI in the past.
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) September 28, 2022
Ek hi maara.. magar solid maara na!!!
Salute to Hon Pm @narendramodi ji and Hon HM @AmitShah ji !!
Banning PFI was the need of the hour..now next is terrorist organisation Raza Academy which is working on the same lines..
Sabko saaf karo..
Ye Humara HINDUSTAN hai!!!
— nitesh rane (@NiteshNRane) September 28, 2022
Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said that along with PFI, there other similar organisation should also be banned. According to him tweet, RSS is one of them.
PFI की तरह जितने भी नफ़रत और द्वेष फैलाने वाले संगठन हैं सभी पर प्रतिबंध लगाना चाहिए जिसमें RSS भी शामिल है। सबसे पहले RSS को बैन करिए, ये उससे भी बदतर संगठन है।
आरएसएस पर दो बार पहले भी बैन लग चुका है। सनद रहे, सबसे पहले RSS पर प्रतिबंध लौह पुरुष सरदार पटेल ने लगाया था।
— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) September 28, 2022
AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said that though he has always opposed PFI’s approach, the ban cannot be supported.
While I have always opposed PFI's approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) September 28, 2022