Source : India Today
|Image Source: PTI|
Following multiple raids across the country and arrests by the central agencies, a radical outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), was banned for five years by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday for its alleged links to terror funding.
In addition to this, PFI’s associate organisations – Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala – were also banned.
The demand to ban the outfit was made by several states. The decision was taken based on the report of the investigating agencies.
On September 22 and September 27, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and state police conducted raids on the PFI.
In the first round of raids, 106 people belonging to PFI were arrested. Meanwhile, in the second round of raids, 247 people belonging to PFI were arrested/detained. Investigating agencies got enough evidence against the outfit, based on which the decision to ban the outfit was taken.
As the central government declared PFI and its associates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, BJP leader Kapil Mishra stated that “Banning PFI is a decisive step against Islamic Jihad” in a tweet.
Reacting to the development, BJP’s national spokesperson, Shehzad Poonawalla, stated on Twitter, “Strong & timely action by Central Government, MHA that has banned the #PFI for a period of five years. But we have seen in the past how Congress, SP, RJD, Left, etc have given political patronage to terror in name of votebank.”
MEGA CRACKDOWN ON PFI
On September 22, the NIA and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches against the PFI at 93 locations in 15 states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur. At least 106 PFI members and their alleged associates were arrested in the first round of raids.
The NIA, along with other probe agencies, carried out raids on PFI members under Operation Octopus for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country. On Tuesday, the second round of raids was conducted in Delhi, Karnataka, Assam, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana.
The searches were conducted at the houses and offices of top PFI leaders and members in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following continued input and evidence that they were involved in the funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising camps to provide arms training and radicalising people to join banned organisations.