‘Disturbing Communal Harmony, Supporting Militancy’: Decoding 5-Year Ban on PFI, Affiliates

webnexttech | 'Disturbing Communal Harmony, Supporting Militancy': Decoding 5-Year Ban on PFI, Affiliates

In a much-awaited and expected move, the Narendra Modi government finally banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates for five years with a notification issued late on Tuesday night.The move followed the arrest of the outfit’s top brass, state-level leaders and hyper-local leaders in two rounds of raids.
News18.com had earlier reported that the government planned to arrest the leaders and cadres at all levels before imposing a ban.
The state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat had recommended banning PFI.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its notification, said PFI and its affiliates were involved in disturbing communal harmony of the country and supporting militancy.
“The Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect,” the gazette notification released on Tuesday said.
“Accordingly, in 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,” MHA added.
With this order, the government has also banned PFI affiliates such as 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 India Foundation.
HOW AFFILIATES ARE LINKED MHA, in the notification, said Rehab India Foundation collected funds through PFI members who, along with being a part of the terror outfit, were also members of the various affiliates that were monitored/coordinated by PFI leaders.
“PFI has created the above mentioned associates or affiliates or fronts with objective of enhancing its reach among different sections of the society such as youth, students, women, imams, lawyers or weaker sections of the society with the sole objective of expanding its membership, influence and fund raising capacity,” MHA said.
The associates or affiliates have a ‘Hub and Spoke’ relationship with the PFI.
The proscribed outfit acted as the hub and utilised the mass outreach and fund-raising capacity of its affiliates to strengthen its capability for unlawful activities, while the fronts functioned as ‘roots and capillaries’ through which the PFI was fed.
“PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as 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 and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country,” MHA said.
INVOLVEMENT IN “UNLAWFUL” ACTIVITIES, LINKS TO ISIS MHA, while giving examples of involvement of PFI and its affiliates, said the outfits have been supporting militancy and indulging in “unlawful activities” which have the potential to disturb public peace and communal harmony of the country.
Some activists of the PFI have joined Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and participated in terror activities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some of these PFI cadres linked to ISIS have been killed in these conflict theatres and some have been arrested by state police and central agencies, it added.
The ministry also said PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a proscribed terrorist organisation, and some its founding members are leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), another outlawed outfit.
“There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase radicalization of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that the some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations,” MHA said.
CASES AGAINST PFI The Home Ministry, in its notification, has given examples where investigation revealed PFI hand in ‘brutal murders of various persons’.
According to the ministry, PFI cadres have been involved in several terrorist acts and murders of Sanjith (Kerala, November 2021); V Ramalingam (Tamil Nadu, 2019); Nandu (Kerala, 2021); Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018); Sh.
Bibin (Kerala, 2017); Sharath (Karnataka, 2017); R Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016); Praveen Pujari (Karnataka, 2016); Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016); and Praveen Nettaru (Karnataka, 2022).
These criminal activities and brutal murders have been carried out by PFI cadres for the sole objective of disturbing public peace and tranquility and creating reign of terror in public mind, MHA said.
MULTIPLE BANK ACCOUNTS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT THROUGH HAWALA The Home Ministry added that the office-bearers and cadres of the PFI, along with others, were conspiring and raising funds from within India and abroad through banking channels, ‘hawala’, and donations as part of a “well-crafted criminal conspiracy”.
It said after collecting the money, cadres then transferred, layered and integrated these funds through multiple accounts to project them as legitimate and eventually used them to carry out various criminal, unlawful and terrorist activities in India.
“The sources of deposits on behalf of PFI with respect to its several bank accounts were not supported by the financial profiles of the account holders and the activities of PFI were not being carried out as per their declared objectives and therefore, the Income Tax Department cancelled the registration granted to PFI under section 12A or 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961).
The Income Tax Department also cancelled the registration granted to Rehab India Foundation under section 12A or section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961,” MHA said.
STATES TO PROHIBIT FUNDS AND PLACES OF PFI After banning PFI, MHA issued another notification to direct administration of states and UTs to exercise powers in Section 7 (to prohibit the use of funds) and Section 8 (notify places used for the purpose of an unlawful association) of UAPA.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 42 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central Government hereby directs that all powers exercisable by it under section 7 and section 8 of the said Act shall be exercised also by the State Government and the Union territory Administration in relation to the above said unlawful association,” MHA said.​ Read all the Latest News India and Breaking News here

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