PFI Banned: Central Government Bans Popular Front of India And Its Affiliates

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New Delhi, 28th September 2022: The Central Government has declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, for a period of five years. The State Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat had recommended banning PFI.

PFI and its associates including Rehab India Foundation(RIF), Campus Front of India(CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Org(NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Jr Front, Empower India Foundation &Rehab Foundation, Kerala have been declared unlawful associations.

The notification published in the official gazette states “the investigations have established clear linkages between PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts. Rehab India Foundation collects funds through PFI members and some of the members of the PFI are also members of Campus Front of India, Empower India Foundation, Rehab
Foundation, Kerala, and the activities of Junior Front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO) and National Women’s Front are monitored/coordinated by the PFI leaders.

The PFI has created the above-mentioned associates or affiliates or fronts with the objective of enhancing its reach among different sections of the society such as youth, students, women, Imams, lawyers or weaker sections of the society with the sole objective of expanding its membership, influence and fund raising capacity.

The above associates or affiliates or fronts have a ‘Hub and Spoke’ relationship with the PFI acting as the Hub and utilizing the mass outreach and fund raising capacity of its associates or affiliates or fronts for strengthening its capability for unlawful activities and these associates or affiliates or fronts function as ‘roots and capillaries’ through which the PFI is fed and strengthened.

The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as socio-economic, educational and political organization but, they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country.

The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the the potential of disturbing public peace and communal harmony of the country and supporting militancy in the country.

Some of the PFI’s founding members are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organisations.

There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase radicalization of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations.”

(i) the PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country and with funds and ideological support from outside it has become a major threat to internal security of the country,

(ii) investigations in various cases have revealed that the PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly engaging in violent and subversive acts. Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI include chopping-off limb of a college professor, cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, obtaining explosives to target prominent people and places and destruction of public property,

(iii) the PFI cadres have been involved in several terrorist acts and murder of several persons, including Sh. Sanjith (Kerala, November, 2021), Sh. V.Ramalingam, (Tamil Nadu, 2019), Sh. Nandu, (Kerala, 2021), Sh. Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018), Sh. Bibin (Kerala, 2017), Sh. Sharath (Karnataka, 2017), Sh. R.Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016), Sh. Praveen Pujari (Karnataka, 2016), Sh. Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016) and Sh. Praveen Nettaru (Karnataka, 2022) and the above criminal activities and brutal murders have been carried out by PFI cadres for the sole objective of disturbing public peace and tranquility and creating reign of terror in public mind,

(iv) there had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups and some activists of the PFI have joined Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and participated in terror activities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of these PFI cadres linked to ISIS have been killed in these conflict theatres and some have been arrested by State Police and Central Agencies and also the PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a proscribed terrorist
organization,

(v) the Office bearers and cadres of the PFI along with others are conspiring and raising funds from within India and abroad through the banking channels, and the hawala, donations, etc. as part of a well-crafted criminal conspiracy, and then transferring, layering and integrating these funds through multiple accounts to project them as legitimate and eventually using these funds to carry out various criminal, unlawful and terrorist activities in India,

(vi) the sources of deposits on behalf of PFI with respect to its several bank accounts were not supported by the financial profiles of the account holders and the activities of PFI were not being carried out as per their declared objectives and therefore, the Income Tax Department cancelled the registration granted to PFI under section 12A or 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961). The Income Tax Department also cancelled the registration granted to Rehab India Foundation under section 12A or section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961,

(vii) the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have recommended to ban PFI.

The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been involved in the violent terrorist activities with an intent to create a reign of terror in the country, thereby endangering the security and public order of the state, and the anti-national activities of PFI disrespect and disregard the constitutional authority and sovereignty of the state and hence an immediate and prompt action is required against the organisation;

The Central Government is of the opinion that if there is no immediate curb or control of unlawful activities of the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts, the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts, will use this opportunity to –
(i) continue its subversive activities, thereby disturbing public order and undermining the constitutional set up of the country;
(ii) encourage and enforce terror based regressive regime;
(iii) continue propagating anti-national sentiments and radicalize a particular section of society with the intention to create disaffection against the country;
(iv) aggravate activities which are detrimental to the integrity, security and sovereignty of the country;

And Whereas, the Central Government for the above-mentioned reasons is firmly of the opinion that having regard to the activities of the PFI, it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts to be unlawful association with immediate effect. The ban order is for five years.