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PFI banned in Jharkhand: Why every other state should act against this radical outfit

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New Delhi, Feb 13: In a bid to curb its anti-national activities, the Jharkhand government has banned the Popular Front of India or PFI. The government cited the PFI's alleged links with outfits such as the Islamic State.

In 2018, women members of Popular Front of India take part in a protest against Jharkhands BJP government for banning their organisation, in Coimbatore. PTI file Photo

The decision to ban PFI has been taken after a review that its activities have increased and is dangerous to the state and the nation and it has the power to disrupt peace, communal harmony and secular structure, an official said.

The cries to ban the PFI have been getting louder over the past couple of years thanks to the activities that the outfit has been involved in. The National Investigation Agency too had prepared a detailed dossier on the PFI, in which its anti national activities were spoken about.

Radicalisation:

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.

Jharkhand gov bans Popular Front of India

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.

An extremely 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 the 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.

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