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PFI’s Jan 5 rally denied permission by West Bengal police


Kolkata, Jan 03: The Popular Front of India (PFI), an alleged radical islamic outfit, was on Friday denied permission for an anti-citizenship law rally scheduled on Sunday in West Bengal's Murshidabad district, a senior police officer said.

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The Kerala-based organisation, following the denial of approval, decided to "postpone its meeting for the time being", PFI West Bengal general secretary Manirul Sheikh said.

"They (PFI) had applied for permission to hold a rally in Murshidabad district on January 5. However, we haven't given them approval," the police officer said.

Meanwhile, TMC MP Abu Taher Khan has lodged a police complaint against the PFI for adding his name in the list of speakers for the Sunday rally without seeking his consent.

"I had lodged a police complaint as they had used my name in their posters as one of the speakers without taking prior permission from me," Taher said.

The Uttar Pradesh government had recently written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking a ban on the organisation for its alleged involvement in violence across the state during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

According to TMC sources, PFI would not be allowed to hold meeting rallies in any other part of the state too as the party wants to maintain a distance from the outfit.

"We have information that PFI and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) may join hands in Bengal. Their main aim is to divide the minority votes in the state. But we are confident that PFI-AIMIM won't be able to do it," a senior TMC leader said.

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According to TMC and police sources, PFI has considerable organisational presence in Malda and Murshidabad and it was allegedly behind the violence and protests that rocked these two districts during December 13-17 against the amended Citizenship Act.

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