Centre declares PFI ‘unlawful’, bans it for five years

New Delhi: The Central government has banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act over alleged terror activities.

The move follows two rounds of massive countrywide raids on PFI leaders in terror fund cases. In the notification, the Centre said the PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases and 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. Also

A government notification issued earlier in the day alleged that the Muslim organization along with its eight affiliates or fronts have been involved in “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.

It also said that some of the founding members of the Popular Front of India are leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India outfit and have links with the terror group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, both of which are proscribed organizations.

“The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as a 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,” the notification said.

The ban on the Popular Front of India will be followed by the seizure of properties linked to the organization and the freezing of its bank accounts, PTI reported.

The Popular Front of India was created in 2007 through the merger of three Muslim organizations in southern India. It describes itself as an organization that works towards “the achievement of socio-economic, cultural and political empowerment of the deprived and the downtrodden and the nation at large”.

The Popular Front of India had described the action as “witch hunting” against its members and supporters. The organization had alleged that the National Investigation Agency has made baseless claims to create an “atmosphere of terror”.

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