With immediate effect and for a period of five years, the Central Government designated the Popular Front of India (PFI) and any of its affiliates, allies, or fronts to be unlawful associations.
PFI and its affiliates and fronts operate openly as socioeconomic, educational, and political organisations, but they have been pursuing a covert agenda to radicalise a specific segment of society in an effort to undermine the idea of democracy and exhibit blatant disrespect for the nation’s constitutional system and governing body “the official notification stated.
According to the notification, PFI and its partners, affiliates, or fronts have been engaging in illegal actions that threaten the integrity, sovereignty, and security of the nation, have the potential to undermine communal harmony and public tranquilly, and support militancy there.
Central Government declares PFI (Popular Front of India) and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, for a period of five years. pic.twitter.com/ZVuDcBw8EL
— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2022
The PFI has connections to Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which is also a proscribed organisation, and some of its founding members are leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which is also a proscribed organisation.
Apart from PFI, the Government has also banned 8 PFI fronts, including:
- All India Imams Council
- Campus Front of India
- Rehab India Foundation
- National Conf of Human Rights Org
- National Women’s Front
- Junior Front
- Empower India Foundation
- Rehab Foundation, Kerala
The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase the radicalization of one community by fostering a sense of insecurity in the nation, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations, according to the notification. There have been numerous instances of PFI’s links to international terrorist organisations like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“The Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and accordingly, in the exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the said Act, the Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette,” it said.
In India, searches at the homes and workplaces of PFI leaders and members were jointly organised by the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate, and state police forces.
Over 100 members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were detained during searches at 93 sites across 15 Indian states. Andhra Pradesh (4 locations), Telangana (1), Delhi (19), Kerala (11), Karnataka (8), Tamil Nadu (3), Uttar Pradesh (1), Rajasthan (2), Hyderabad (5), Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar, and Manipur were among the states where the raids were carried out.
The NIA registered five cases after receiving “continued inputs and evidence” that the PFI leaders and cadres were involved in funding terrorism and terrorist activities, running training camps for armed instruction, and radicalising individuals to join prohibited organisations. The searches were done in connection with those cases.
Due to the PFI’s leadership and members’ involvement in numerous violent activities, numerous criminal proceedings against them have been filed in numerous states over the past few years. Kerala introduced the PFI in 2006.