Center directs states and UTs to exercise UAPA powers against PFI, its affiliates

In another setback following the declaration of the People’s Front of India (PFI) as an “illegal association” and its ban for the next five years, the central government has ordered all states and union territories (UT) to “exercise” the powers of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the company and its affiliates. Apart from the PFI, state governments and UT administration have been urged to use the powers of UAPA against its associates or affiliates or fronts including Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. These PFI affiliates were also banned by the Center for five years under the UAPA.

“In exercising the powers conferred by section 42 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, the Central Government hereby directs that all powers which it may exercise under sections 7 and 8 of the said law shall also be exercised by the government of the State and the administration of the territory of the Union with respect to the said unlawful association above,” reads a follow-up notification issued by the Ministry of Interior (MHA).In an earlier notification, the Center exercised the powers conferred by subsection (1) and the provision of subsection (3) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities Act 1967 (prevention) (37 of 1967) to state the PFI and its associates including Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation n, Kerala as an illegal association.

A few days after the arrest of more than 100 PFI cadres in several raids carried out across the country linked to PFI cadres by the National Investigation Agency, the Directorate of Law Enforcement and security agencies. State as well as police forces, the Center issued a ban on the team and its affiliates with “immediate effect”. The notification clearly stated that the ban was imposed on PFI and its associates for “engaging in illegal activities, which are detrimental to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the potential to disturb the public peace and community harmony of the country and support militancy in the country.

The Center issued the ban citing its agencies’ investigation, mentioning that “the investigations established clear links between PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts.” It is also accused that “some of the founding members of the PFI are the leaders of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and that the PFI has links with Jamat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are organizations prohibited”.

The Center’s action also cited the agencies’ findings on a number of “examples of PFI’s international links to global terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”. The PFI and its associates are also accused of working covertly to increase the radicalization of a community by fostering a sense of insecurity in the country, which is supported by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organizations. “

The PFI is further accused of its involvement in several criminal and terrorist cases as well as a sheer lack of respect for the constitutional authority of the country. With funds and ideological support from outside, the PFI and its affiliates are further accused of becoming a major threat to the country’s internal security.

The PFI came into existence on December 9, 2006. Three Muslim fundamentalist formations in southern India — the National Development Front (NDF), Kerala; Karnataka Dignity Forum (KFD), Karnataka; and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu – rebranded the ‘South India Council’ (a Bangalore-based organization launched by the NDF in 2004) as the ‘India People’s Front’. One of the constituent organizations of the PFI, the NDF was established in 1993 in Kerala to form ‘resistance groups’ to meet the ‘challenge of the Sangh Parivar’. The KFD, although formed (2005) for the claimed goal of upliftment of Muslims, indoctrinated its members to undertake ‘Jehad’ for the cause of Islam. Training was given to them in martial arts, the use of lathis and unarmed combat, apart from ideological indoctrination. The MNP, which was formed (2001) as the ‘National Defense Force’ by M Ghulam Mohammed in 1999, aimed to prepare Muslim youth to retaliate against attacks on Muslims by Hindus and any attempt to denigrate the ‘Islam. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Kristen T. Prall