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Citing a “serious threat to security,” The centre prohibits PFI and its associates for five years

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PFI and numerous other related organisations were prohibited for five years by the Center. According to the notification, some PFI activists joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and participated in terrorism there. According to the MHA, it committed violent crimes in India, including amputating a college professor’s arm.

With immediate effect and for a period of five years, the Indian government has proclaimed the Popular Front of India, together with any of its affiliates, partners, or fronts, to be unlawful associations. The action comes after two waves of widespread nationwide raids targeting PFI leaders in terror fund charges. In the notification, the Center claimed that the PFI, which is linked to numerous criminal and terrorism cases and exhibits blatant disrespect for the nation’s constitutional authorities thanks to outside financial and ideological support, has grown to pose a serious threat to the internal security of the nation.

In accordance with the authority granted by subsection (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government hereby declares the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliated or fronts, such as the Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala, as a proscribed organisation.

And Whereas, having regard to the foregoing circumstances, the Central Government is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associated or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and as a result, the Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under Section 4 of the said Act,

According to the notification, the PFI is continuing its subversive actions, upsetting public order, and supporting a terror-based regressive regime, therefore the government believes there is no immediate way to stop or regulate their illegal activities.

It stated that there had been several cases of PFI having connections with foreign terrorist organisations, and that some of its members had joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and taken part in terrorist acts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

“The PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly participating in violent and subversive acts, according to investigations into a number of cases. PFI has committed violent crimes including the amputation of a college professor’s limb, the cold-blooded murder of people affiliated with organisations that support different religions, the acquisition of explosives to target well-known individuals and locations, and the destruction of public property “It read.

PFI: A 16-year history of disputes and allegations of terrorism

The Popular Front of India (PFI), which was founded in Kerala in the year 2006, has experienced exponential expansion, expanding to 22 states across India, and even giving rise to a political offshoot that runs for office. The Kerala government testified in an affidavit to the High Court in 2012 that the PFI was “nothing but a resurrection” of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India, SIMI. However, for much of this decade and a half, the organisation has been shrouded in controversy, with accusations of “radicalization” and involvement in violence.

What does the Popular Front of India’s suspension mean?

The prohibition is anticipated to hamper its finance, recruitment, and other activities because anyone discovered to be connected to it could be charged with terrorism anywhere in the nation.

The Popular Front of India (PFI) has been banned under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which designates it as a “terrorist organisation,” which is expected to cripple its funding, recruitment, and other activities because anyone found to be connected to it could be charged with terrorism anywhere in the nation, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

After the arrests of PFI’s top leadership in a crackdown since September 22, PFI and its remaining office bearers would not be allowed to organise protests, seminars, conferences, donation exercises, or come up with publications, among other similar activities. The actions can be categorically ruled illegal by federal agencies and the local police.

In the upcoming days, additional action will be taken against the cadre-based organisation. There may be travel limits placed on the PFI’s office holders, as well as the possibility of seizure or attachment of the bank accounts, properties, and offices of the PFI and related organisations.

The majority of PFI’s top leadership formerly belonged to the outlawed organisation Students Islamic Movement of India, according to a notification released by the government on Tuesday (SIMI). It was noted that PFI had connections to the outlawed terrorist group Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

2019 saw a ban on JMB. Although it has a presence in several places, including West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and other states, it has been “quietly” engaging in subversive activities including fund-raising and the recruiting of weak Muslim youngsters. According to a National Investigation Agency (NIA) document reviewed by HT, it was allegedly educating them and inspiring them to create homemade weapons like bows and arrows, etc., radicalising them to fight against members of other communities in India.

In a crackdown on the group in 2014, more than 50 JMB members were detained in West Bengal and Assam, and more than 100 explosives were discovered.

According to the NIA paper, SIMI founded the Indian Mujahideen terror group in 2006–2007 with Pakistan’s assistance and committed a number of explosions. It was also mentioned that JMB had ties to Pakistan as a result of receiving funding from Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to information given by intelligence agencies, “it [JMB] also uses madrasas, mosques, and social media for recruiting Muslim youngsters,” the NIA dossier stated.

PFI’s cadres were allegedly linked to international terrorist organisations including the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, which officials claim have been the subject of in-depth investigations over the past five to six years, according to the notification of the ban.

The terror actions of PFI are well documented and digitally supported, according to a government official who wished to remain unnamed.

HT has seen a copy of the PFI dossier that the NIA created in 2017. According to the dossier, the PFI has 100,000–150,000 sympathisers in Kerala and over 50,000 regular members, with an annual increase of 3%–5%. It also stated that these cadres are enjoined to protect Islamic principles, effectively converting them into moral police.

The number of members and cadres might be substantially higher because PFI has a presence in close to 22 states and Union territories, according to an NIA officer who declined to provide his identity.

According to the announcement, PFI cadres have also participated in a number of terrorist attacks and homicides, including this year’s murder of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Praveen Nettaru in Karnataka.

According to the announcement, PFI cadres carried out their criminal actions and horrific killings with the express purpose of upsetting public peace and tranquilly and spreading fear among the general people.

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