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Centre Bans PFI, Associates For 5 Years, Citing 'Threat To Internal Security'

The decision came soon after a nationwide crackdown on PFI, including in Assam, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) on September 22 and 27, when more than 350 PFI members were arrested.

Centre Bans PFI, Associates For 5 Years, Citing Threat To Internal Security

Sentinel Digital Desk

GUWAHATI: The government of India has banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliate organisations with immediate effect for a period of five years and declared them as unlawful associations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 on Wednesday.

The decision came days after a nationwide crackdown, including in Assam, on PFI by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) on September 22 and 27, when more than 350 PFI members were arrested.

Several states, including Assam, have been demanding a ban on the PFI after large numbers of its members were arrested from their soil.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma welcomed the ban, taking to Twitter to say, "I welcome the ban on (Popular Front of India) PFI by the Government of India. The Government is firm in its resolve to ensure that anyone with a diabolical, divisive or disruptive design against India shall be dealt with iron fist. India of Modi Era is Decisive & Bold."

The Centre's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a notification in this regard; where it is said some PFI activists joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and took participated in terrorism activities there. The MHA notification said that in India, PFI engaged in terror acts, including violent acts like cutting off a limb of a college professor.

The notification further says the PFI displays utter disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country, sourcing funds and ideological support from outside, and that it has become a major threat towards the internal security of the country.

The Central Government notification, through exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), declared as illegal the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associated or affiliates or fronts including Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.

"And 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 associated or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 2 of the said Act, the Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette," the notification said.

The government also noted that there is no immediate curb or control of the unlawful activities of the PFI while they are continuing its subversive activities, disturbing public order, and encouraging terror-based regressive regime, according to the notification.

"There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups and some activists of the PFI have joined Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and participated in terror activities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan," the notification said.

It also stated, "Investigations in various cases have revealed that the PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly engaging in violent and subversive acts. Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI include chopping off limb of a college professor, cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, obtaining explosives to target prominent people and places and destruction of public property."

Also read: PFI Members Detained by NIA in Overnight Raids Conducted Across Assam

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