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Ban on PFI round the corner

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The PFI is set to become the 43rd banned terrorist organisation in India under Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, which states that an organisation shall be deemed to be involved in terrorism if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes or encourages terrorism or otherwise involved in terrorism.

New Delhi, Sep 27: The Popular Front of India (PFI), which was raided by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate, is set to become the 43rd banned terrorist organisation in India under Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.

Ban on PFI round the corner

The enforcement agencies would soon recommend a ban on the PFI to the Union Home Ministry. The decision would be taken soon, a source told OneIndia while adding that the legal options are currently being examined. For now, the reports from the Maharashtra anti-terror squad are also under examination.

NIA undertakes another mega raid on PFI, takes scores of operatives into custodyNIA undertakes another mega raid on PFI, takes scores of operatives into custody

While the ban may not come as a permanent solution, it could act as a deterrent to the group. Following the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the outfit lay low for a while before going on to become the Indian Mujahideen (IM). The PFI, according to officials, was preparing for such a scenario, the official also explained.

Last week, on the basis of concrete intelligence and material raids, the NIA and the ED conducted its biggest raid across the nation in which 106 PFI suspects, including its chairman O M A Salam, were arrested.

The NIA said that the PFI is the Indian recruiter for global terror groups such as Al-Qaeda, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The section, that the PFI would be banned under, says that an organisation shall be deemed to be involved in terrorism if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes or encourages terrorism or otherwise involved in terrorism.

The NIA, while seeking the remand of the arrested persons, argued that the accused would abscond and also tamper with the evidence as they are highly influential in nature as seen from the repercussions after their arrest.

Officials are also studying in details the dossier prepared by the NIA.

<strong>Keep it clean, keep it safe: How the federal agencies raided the PFI</strong> Keep it clean, keep it safe: How the federal agencies raided the PFI

The NIA had prepared a dossier in 2017. Officials say that the dossier lists the various incidents relating to the outfit. The case relating to the chopping of a professor's hand, a training camp in Kannur where the NIA seized country-made bombs, murder of RSS worker Rudresh and an Islamic State module case is what the NIA have cited in the dossier.

The NIA says that the PFI follows a policy aimed at communalisation. It believes in a Taliban brand of Islam and triggers divide and also has a group of volunteers for physical activity.

"The PFI had consistently been indulging in actions detrimental to overall national security." The NIA also cited the probe into the Love Jihad case. It said that it is using sister organisations such as Sathya Sarani based in Malappuram which carries out forced conversions.

The dossier pointed out that many of the PFI's founding leaders were associated with SIMI before it was banned. This includes former PFI chairman E M Abdurahiman, who was all-India general secretary of SIMI in 1980-81 and 1982-93, PFI national vice-chairman P Koya who was with SIMI in 1978-79 and SDPI president E Aboobacker who was Kerala state president of SIMI in 1982-84, among others.

<strong>The NIA, ED dossiers that led to the raid on the PFI</strong> The NIA, ED dossiers that led to the raid on the PFI

The PFI has its presence in 23 states and is the strongest in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It has a machinery to meet violent ends, the dossier also states.

The outfit has squads of trainers and experts in making crude bombs and IEDs, an intelligence wing and action squads to run unlawful and violent activities. It has clandestine training centres, where training in martial arts and indoctrination is given.

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