The notorious Popular Front of India has been banned by the Jharkhand government on the ground that its members were influenced by the Islamic State.
The ban comes in the wake of a big demand in Karnataka to ban the outfit where it has numerous cases registered against it. Further, the ban is also important considering the fact that the National Investigation Agency has submitted a detailed report about its activities to the Union Home Ministry while proposing a ban.
An official release by the Jharkhand government said that the action has been taken following a proposal of the Home Department/ police on which the Law Department has also given its consent"
The release further said the organisation has been most active in Pakur district. "Popular Front of India started in Kerala. The members of this organisation are internally influenced by the ISIS. An inquiry by Special Branch has revealed that some members of this organisation have gone secretly to Syria from the South Indian states and (are) working for ISIS," the release also said.
Will Karnataka ban PFI?
In Karnataka, there are numerous cases registered against the PFI. Recently the NIA said that its members were involved in the murder of RSS worker Rudresh.
The ruling Congress in Karnataka has been under pressure to ban the PFI. The BJP while accusing the government of appeasement said that instead of banning the outfit, several 100 cases were dropped against its operatives.
On January 14 this year, the Karnataka Home Minister had said that there is no proposal to ban the PFI. The minister Ramalinga Reddy said that they would hold a discussion on the matter before taking a considered call.
BJP has been demanding a ban on PFI and its political wing SDPI, holding them responsible for a spate of killings of "Hindu activists" in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district. But the PFI has blamed Sangh Parivar outfits for the killing of those from Muslim community in the region. Noting that BJP was demanding a ban on PFI, the Home Minister said not only PFI but Bajrang Dal, RSS and Sri Rama Sene were also involved in violence.
A heavy dossier:
The NIA speaks about the killing of RSS worker Rudresh in Bengaluru. Further, it details the professor's hand chopping case at Idukki. While giving details about a Kannur training camp from where country-made bombs and swords were seized, the NIA report to the Home Ministry also speaks about an Islamic State module case.
The NIA says that the approach of the PFI is radical in nature. It speaks about recruiting only committed Muslims into its fold. It also states that the cadres train with clips of the Babri Masjid demolition and this is clearly a sign that it is trying to radicalise its cadres.
It is trying to run a parallel administration the NIA states. It speaks about the Darul Khada an outfit comprising Muslim scholars, social workers and advocates. This was set up in 2009, by SDPI national chief E Aboobacker. The NIA says that they run a parallel judiciary which settles a host of issues. The NIA dossier also states that in July 2009, a Kerala level declaration was passed by the Darul Khada in Malappuram in which it had called upon the Muslim community not to attend civil courts, but get all issues sorted out by it.
The NIA also cited the most recent case it is probing in connection with Love Jihad. It speaks about the Sathyasarani Islamic Dawah an affiliate of the PFI. It says that this organisation is running an Islamic conversion centre and also details the rigorous religious training it is imparting.
A violent outfit:
The Intelligence Bureau has said that the PFI is violent in nature. They one point agenda is to attack the Right Wing. They preach to their cadres that attacking those who oppose Islam would earn them religious rewards. the PFI has been accused of chopping off a professor's hand who had allegedly hurt religious sentiments in Kerala. 37 PFI cadres were arrested. In an affidavit before the Kerala High Court, it was submitted that the PFI was involved in 27 murders. In another report, the Kerala government said that there was 87 attempt to murder cases against PFI cadres.
What is PFI:
PFI as an organisation came into existence in 2006. However, it dates back to 1993 when an organisation called the National Development Front was formed to protect the interests of Muslims in Kerala following the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
The activities of the NDF were restricted to Kerala alone. There was a decision that was later on taken to unify like-minded outfits from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The PFI then was born in 2006 with the merger of NDF, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu.
By 2009 more organisations merged with the PFI. They were Goa Citizen's Forum, Rajasthan's Community Social and Educational Society, West Bengal's Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Samithi, Manipur's Lilong Social Forum and Association of Social Justice, Andhra Pradesh.
The PFI has often been accused of associating with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India. Most of the office bearers of the PFI have been associated with the SIMI in the past. They have held positions in the SIMI before it had been banned.