PFI ban 'dangerous' as every Muslim who speaks his mind can now be arrested: AIMIM chief Owaisi
New Delhi, Sep 28: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi took to Twitter to condemn the PFI ban, saying that while he opposed the outfit's approach, the ban cannot be supported. "While I have always opposed PFI's approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported," he said.
"Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned. SC has also held that mere association with an organisation is not enough to convict someone," he said.
While I have always opposed PFI's approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) September 28, 2022
The AIMIM President in a series of tweets said that while he opposed PFI's approach, the ban cannot be supported. "A draconian ban of this kind is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind The way India's electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet Punder India's black law, UAPA."
"Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA & will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the constitution," he said.
The Centre has imposed a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and several of its associates for their alleged terror activities.
The organisations which were also declared banned under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA include Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CF), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
The action of the Central government came days after a countrywide crackdown on the 16-year-old PFI, arrest of over a hundred of its activities and seizure of several dozen properties.
In a late Tuesday night notification, the Union Home Ministry said some of the PFI's founding members are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). Both JMB and SIMI are proscribed organisations. It said there had been many instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase the radicalization of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations, the notification claimed.
"Whereas, the Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts association outlawed with immediate effect, and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the said Act, declares it as outlawed," it said.