On Saturday, September 25, Assam Chief Minister (CM) Himanta Biswa Sarma hinted at the possibility of the extremist Islamist group Popular Front of India (PFI) involvement in last week’s violence that broke out during an eviction drive in Darrang district.
- Extremist Islamist group Popular Front of India (PFI) was involved in last week’s violence that broke out during an eviction drive in Darrang district suggests CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
- Sarma also claimed that the Assam government had proof that PFI played a role in the violence which erupted during the anti-eviction protests in Darrang District.
- Assam government had appealed to the Centre seeking a ban on PFI, accusing it of promoting and executing anti-national activities in Assam.
- PFI’s involvement in Anti-national activities had already triggered its ban in states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Jharkhand
The Assam chief minister said, “The situation is normal now. As many as 60 families have to be evicted but there were 10,000 people, who brought them…Popular Front of India’s name is emerging in this but I’ll not give any comment till the judicial probe is completed,” as quoted by ANI. CM Himanta further said that he will urge the Central government to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI), Sarma also claimed that the Assam government had proof that PFI played a role in the violence which erupted during the anti-eviction protests in Darrang District.
The Assam police along with the district administration led an eviction drive to vacate 4,500 bighas (602.40 hectares) of government land which was illegally encroached by several hundreds of families of illegal Bangladeshi Muslims.
“Encroachment of land is done in Siphajar, Lumding, and Barchalla with a definite design, by people from Dhing, Rupohihat, and Lahorighat. This happens every five years and the demographic profile of the area changes,” Sarma told the media on Saturday.
“The state government has clear evidence that a certain group of people collected Rs 28 lakh in the past few months from the poor, (saying) that they will convince the government against eviction; we have those names. When they could not resist the eviction drive, they mobilised people and created havoc,” Sarma said.
“Prior to the day of the incident, in the name of carrying food items for the evicted families, PFI visited the site. The evidence is emerging implicating certain people.. they will be brought under investigation. The eviction was supposed to be done against 60 families, how did 10,000 people come there?” he added.
Section 144 imposed
To prevent any probable breach of the public peace, the district administration imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPc.
“The eviction drive was not carried out in a day. It was initiated with an agreed principle that as per the land policy, the landless will be provided with two acres and this was agreed upon by the representatives. Following this, no resistance was expected. However, about 10,000 people surrounded the police, indulged in violence and they were forced to retaliate,” Himanta Sarma had said.
The Popular Front of India (PFI)
The Popular Front of India (PFI) is an Islamic extremist organization known to stoke communal discord and subsequent violence across the country. It was formed in 2006, as a successor to National Development Front, and it has been accused of involvement in anti-national and anti-social activities by the Indian Government on several grounds.
During the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests back in 2020, the Uttar Pradesh government blamed the Popular Front of India (PFI) for the violent activities and protests in the state, followed by the Assam government which approached the Centre seeking a ban on the radical Muslim outfit PFI for their active involvement in the violent incidents and vandalism during the anti-CAA protests in the state.
On Friday, MP of Mangaldoi and Dilip Saikia (BJP national secretary) had alleged that ‘third parties, including the PFI’, could be involved in the violent attack on police personnel during the eviction drive but Abu Shama Ahmed PFI’s state president had denied the allegations.
The Kerala government in 2014 had submitted a report claiming 86 PFI’s involvement in the murder and anti-national activities. The central investigating agencies had earlier even found links between PFI and Pakistani spy agency, ISIs. Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Jharkhand had already demanded a ban on PFI by the Home Ministry. Seems like, the Assam government will now join the list after it had appealed to the Centre seeking a ban on PFI, accusing it of promoting and executing anti-national activities in the state.