After the “largest-ever” crackdown on terror operations by National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) along with Paramilitary forces last week where 100s of members of the associate organizations were arrested, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its front organisations including its student wing- the Campus Front of India (CFI) as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The Muslim organisation has been banned for five years along with eight associates or front organisations.
In addition to this, PFI’s associate organisations – Rehab India Foundation (RIF), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala – were also banned.
The demand to ban the outfit was made by several states. The decision was taken based on the report of the investigating agencies.
With this, the PFI has been added to the list of 42 banned terrorist organisations under Section 35 of the UAPA.
In the first round of raids, 106 people belonging to PFI were arrested. Meanwhile, in the second round of raids, 247 people belonging to PFI were arrested.
The notification issued by Home Ministry said 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.
It said PFI has been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society, and that the outfit shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country.
“With funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country,” notification added.
The notification also stated that several criminal activities & brutal murders have been committed by PFI members in the past to create “reign of terror in public mind”.