Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday termed as factually wrong the statement of Union Minister Kiren Rijiju that the state had sought a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), a Muslim organization.
Rijiju had made the comment at the annual DGP conference held at Madhya Pradesh last month and added that Centre was considering it.
“It is not the (Kerala) government’s policy to ban any communal or terrorist outfit. If any such outfit needs to be banned for creating riots and dividing the society on communal lines, then RSS should be the first. However, such organizations cannot be countered with a ban. This has been proved by our experience in the past and it is our stand with the PFI too,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
“The threats that such communal and terrorist organizations pose and their ideology cannot be wiped out through a ban. It should be dealt with popular and strict legal measures,” added the Chief Minister.
According to the Chief Minister, his government has taken strict measures against communalism and terrorism and the results are evident in the maintenance of law and order in the state.
He added that 104 cases were registered against PFI and NDF, its older version, between 2005 and 2012. However, the number of cases drastically came down as only 14 of them were registered between 2013 and 17.
Facts prove that Kerala is at the forefront in safeguarding securalism, Vijayan said and pointed out that the National Crime Record Bureau documents collaborated this.
Meanwhile, Kerala Police chief, Lokanath Behra too has released a statement denying the report.
"There was a presentation discussion on the topic "Radicalization-PFI, A Case study" in the DGP's Conference held in January 2018, at Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh. This presentation was prepared by a group of DGPs of a few states and was presented by the Kerala DGP. In the presentation, there was neither a suggestion nor any recommendation to impose the ban on the Popular Front of India. Kerala police have not proposed nor written for imposing such a ban on the PFI till date (sic)," clarified the Kerala Police.
According to investigative agencies, about 75 persons from Kerala were ISIS recruits and nearly 25 PFI members from Kerala have reportedly joined ISIS since 2015.
Shajeer Mangalasseri Abdulla, an engineering graduate from NIT and activist PFI-SDPI, who left Kerala to join ISIS was also killed in 2017 in Afghanistan. The news on the death of another PFI-SDPI activist Shameer, in Syria came out in August 2017. In October 2017, Kerala police arrested three youths, Midhilaj K C of Munderi; Abdul Razack K V of Chekkikkulam; and Raashid M V who were associated with PFI for alleged ISIS links.
Kiren Rijiju had said that Kerala had asked for a ban on the PFI, which mainly operates from South India.
According to the union minister, the growth and activities of PFI in Kerala were discussed and presented by the Kerala police chief at the annual DGP meet.