New Delhi: After ‘largest-ever’ crackdown on the radical outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), leading to arrest of its more than 100 activists, reports suggest that the government may ban the outfit. What makes the case strong against PFI is the recovery of many damning documents, ‘documenting’ its role in many activities fomenting violence and creating unrest in the country.
It’s top leadership has reportedly been charged with UAPA and the outfit is facing allegations of mobilizing funds in name of religious activities. Given the circumstance, a ban may be inevitable say political watchers.
Crying foul over NIA-ED joint raids, PFI has protested the crackdown and accused the Centre of harassing its national & state leaders.
However, if ban follows crackdown, it’s not because of a one-off incident. There have been many past instances when the radical outfit has been at the centre of controversy. It’s name surfaced at many occasions, sometimes for creating unrest over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or fomenting communal unrest by funding the Islamic fanatics (as happened in Udaipur tailor murder) or in creating false discourse, thus in turn leading to communal riots as seen in Hathras gangrape aftermath.
Over 100 people, including top leaders of PFI were arrested today from 10 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
For quite sometime, the ED has been probing PFI’s alleged “financial links” on charges of fuelling the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests, 2020 Delhi riots, alleged conspiracy in Hathras over gang-rape and death of Dalit woman.
The PFI is an extremist Islamic organization, came into existence as successor to National Development Front (NDF) and have often been accused of involvement in antinational and anti-social activities by the various agencies.
The outfit has already been charged by the ED over money laundering charges. In February 2021, the ED in its chargesheet claimed that the outfit wanted to incite communal riots in the aftermath of Hathras gangrape case while in second chargesheet filed this year, the ED said that a hotel based in UAE served as a conduit for its money laundering.