The Union government is soon likely to ban the controversial outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) which has been blamed for the violence and communal tension in parts of India during Ram Navami last week.
Sources told News18 that the government is likely to take a decision this week. They added that preparations for the ban have been completed and a notification is likely to be announced soon.
#EXCLUSIVE | #PFI fomented hate and riots. Now PFI to get the axe?Decision on ban on PFI coming soon.
Exclusive Input: @manojkumargupta @siddhantvm shares details with @Runjhunsharmas pic.twitter.com/q18PW6w5Ol
? News18 (@CNNnews18) April 15, 2022
The PFI, an Islamic organisation, is already banned in several states, but the government now plans to ban the outfit through a central notification.
Violence had erupted last weekend during Ram Navami processions in Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. On April 14, Madhya Pradesh BJP chief VD Sharma had alleged that the PFI funded the arson and stone-pelting in Khargone, which led to curfew being imposed in the area.
Speaking to News18.com, BJP Yuva Morcha chief Tejasvi Surya, too, accused the PFI of instigating communal tension. Stopped from proceeding to the stone-pelting site in Karauli in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Surya said: “We didn’t have arms or stones in our hands unlike the PFI (Popular Front of India). We wanted to undertake the Nyay Yatra and demand justice for victims.”
Haven’t Done Anything Against Nation: PFI
Speaking to News18, PFI general secretary Anis Ahmed said the outfit had not done anything against the nation and would approach legal bodies in case the government tried to ban it.
?The government can?t ban us, we haven?t done anything against the nation. There are democratic and legal bodies to approach if the government tries to ban us,? he said.
Ahmed added that similar ?campaign? was carried out in 2017 as well. ?We haven?t heard anything from the state or central government. Such news keeps coming. A big campaign took place in 2017, but nothing happened. If the government says it officially, we will consider??
The Road So Far
The Intelligence Bureau had first created a dossier on the PFI in 2010, which called the group “a confederation of Islamic organisations which was collaborating with the banned Islamist terrorist Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)”.
“Organisations like the Citizen?s Forum, Goa, Community Social and Educational Society, Rajasthan, Nagrik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti, West Bengal, Liong Social Forum, Manipur and the Association of Social Justice, Andhra Pradesh were all part of PFI’s growing network,” the dossier had said.
In 2017, calls for a ban on PFI received fresh impetus after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted to the Home Ministry a comprehensive dossier which listed the Islamic group’s alleged links with terror-related cases that the agency had investigated.
The NIA dossier, details of which were accessed by News18 in 2020, said the PFI was the second avatar of the National Development Front which was formed in 1993 after the Babri Masjid demolition and subsequent riots.
“NDF subsequently merged with MNP of Tamil Nadu, KFD of Karnataka, Citizen?s Forum (Goa), Community Social and Educational Society (Rajasthan), Nagrik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti (Andhra Pradesh) etc to form PFI. Formation of PFI was first announced on 9.11.2006 in Bangalore,” the NIA dossier had said.
The PFI also has a political group – Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) — which took part in panchayat elections in Kerala.
The NIA had in its dossier listed the PFI and its political wing SDPI for involvement in the Bangalore blast case, Kerala professor palm-chopping case, the Kerala love jihad case among others.
?The cadres are consciously encouraged to intervene and react even in minor cases against members of the Muslim community. The cadre is also encouraged to act as guardian of Islamic values, thus effectively converting them into moral police. The cadres are given training in martial arts and combat using sticks and knives/swords at some locations in their strongholds,” the NIA document had said.
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