The Home Ministry on its part has begun a crackdown on the radical Islamist organisation – the Popular Front of India (PFI) and is seriously considering the steps required to ban the organisation. The Popular Front of India (PFI) has come under the scanner of the Union home ministry for allegedly instigating protestors to clash with the police in Uttar Pradesh.
While as many as 25 people linked to the PFI have been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh administration over the last week, the Centre is now set to rope in intelligence departments to set the wheels in motion to ban the organisation and is seeking inputs from the Intelligence Bureau and other central government agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The Popular Front of India has been following the devious and insidious strategy of hiding behind students in the garb of protests and unleashing violence from behind the curtains. Its objectives and intentions remain the same as SIMI, only its tactics have changed and turned even more sinister. In fact, PFI activists have also been involved with global terror organisations. There have been reports about PFI activists joining the ISIS, and a Times Now investigation had suggested that some of the organisations funding radical Islamist, PFI, have also been linked to the global terrorist organization, the Al-Qaeda. The outfit has also been very active in promoting Jihad and classes on Jihad are conducted by some of its members. In these classes, the PFI even preaches that killing right-wing activists who oppose Islam would provide them ‘religious rewards in the afterlife’. Therefore, PFI is instrumental in indoctrination and radicalisation of young and impressionable minds. Thus, the murders of RSS volunteers by PFI activists and association of PFI members with global terror outfits doesn’t really come as a surprise.
The outfit has been on the radar of the National Investigation Agency over the past few years as the NIA has named PFI in at least four cases – for chopping off the hand of a professor in Kerala’s Idukki district (July 2010), the murder of RSS leader in Bengaluru (October 2016), serving as the Islamic State Omar Al-Hindi module in Kochi (October 2016), and organising a training camp in Kannur from where bombs, IEDs and swords were recovered (April 2013). Kerala police claim PFI is involved in at least 27 political murders in the state. In 2014, the Kerala government submitted an affidavit in the High Court to the effect, also adding that the organisation was also involved in 86 attempt to murder cases and more than 125 cases of whipping up communal passions.
The PFI has played a major role in instigating violence across the country especially in UP and Assam under the garb of anti-CAA protests.
The Yogi government is no mood to let off PFI and has stepped up its efforts on curbing the outfit’s activities. The state government, in its letter to the home ministry, cited ongoing investigations of the organisation’s involvement in the violent protests against the CAA on December 19. As many as 21 persons have died in violent protests over CAA in Uttar Pradesh; 1,113 persons have been arrested in connection with the protests. Uttar Pradesh’s Director General of Police, OP Singh said more than 20 PFI members have been arrested for inciting violence. This includes the organisation’s UP president Waseem Ahmad. “We have found some incriminating documents which suggest involvement of certain active members of PFI in the recent agitation that turned violent. We will present the evidence before the home ministry,” he added.