The PFI was engaged to the terror plans of killing various Hindu leaders belonging to RSS and BJP and associated with many anti-national and subversive activities all along in a target of making India as an Islamic State within 2047.
The MHA banned the PFI and its associates and issued the gazette notification a day after the second nationwide crackdown on the radical outfit in five days with police teams across seven states conducting raids Tuesday and detaining or arresting more than 270 people with alleged links to the radical outfit.
The ministry in its notification said the PFI and its associates, affiliates, and fronts have been indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to India’s integrity, sovereignty, and security, have the potential of disturbing public peace and communal harmony, and supporting militancy in the country.
“The Central Government is of the opinion that it is necessary to exercise its powers under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the UAPA Act as the PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country and with funds and ideological support from outside it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country, investigations in various cases have revealed that the PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly engaging in violent and subversive acts,” stated the notification.
After banning the PFI, the MHA also issued another notification with a subject line of delegation of power and said under the exercise of the powers conferred by Section 42 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Central Government directs State Governments and the Union Territory administrations to exercise all the powers under Section 7 (to prohibit the use of funds) and Section 8 (notify places used for the purpose of an unlawful association) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.
In the first notification, the MHA said some of the PFI’s founding members are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and that the radical outfit has links with the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organisations. “There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase 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,” it states.
The notification also talked about the many associates or affiliates or fronts, including the 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 (EIF), and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
“Rehab India Foundation collects funds through PFI members and some of the members of the PFI are also members of CFI, EIF, Rehab Foundation, Kerala, and the activities of the junior front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO) and National Women’s Front are monitored/ coordinated by the PFI leaders. The PFI has created all the associates or affiliates or fronts with the objective of enhancing its reach among different sections of the society such as youth, students, women, Imams, lawyers or weaker sections of the society with the sole objective of expanding its membership, influence and fundraising capacity,” it further states.
The notification further stated, “The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as a socio-economic, educational and political organization but, they have been pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society working towards undermining the concept of democracy and show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country.”
The MHA cited violent acts carried out by the PFI including chopping-off palm of a college professor TJ Joseph in Kerala 12 yrs ago, of cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, obtaining explosives to target prominent people and places, and destruction of public property.
The notification said the PFI cadres have been involved in several terrorist acts and the murder of several people across the country. “All the criminal activities and brutal murders have been carried out by PFI cadres for the sole objective of disturbing public peace and tranquillity and creating a reign of terror in the public mind, there had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist Groups and some activists of the PFI have joined ISIS and participated in terror activities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,” it stated.
Also citing specific terror acts and murders in which PFI cadres have been involved, the notification names the victims. These include Sanjith (Kerala, November, 2021), V Ramalingam, (Tamil Nadu, 2019), Nandu, (Kerala, 2021), Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018), Bibin (Kerala, 2017), Sharath (Karnataka, 2017), R.Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016), Praveen Pujari (Karnataka, 2016), Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016) and Praveen Nettaru (Karnataka, 2022). “The…criminal activities and brutal murders have been carried out by PFI cadres for the sole objective of disturbing public peace and tranquility and creating reign of terror in public mind,” the Govt notification stated.
“Some of these PFI cadres linked to ISIS have been killed in these conflict theatres and some have been arrested by state police and Central agencies.”
The office bearers and cadres of the PFI, the MHA said, “along with others are conspiring and raising funds from within India and abroad through the banking channels, and the hawala, donations, etc as part of a well-crafted criminal conspiracy, and then transferring, layering and integrating these funds through multiple accounts to project them as legitimate and eventually using these funds to carry out various criminal, unlawful and terrorist activities in India”.
According to the notification, the Income Tax Department cancelled the registration granted to the PFI under section 12A or 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) as the sources of deposits on its behalf with respect to its several bank accounts were not supported by the financial profiles of the account holders and the outfit’s activities were not being carried out as per their declared objectives. “The Income Tax Department also cancelled the registration granted to Rehab India Foundation under section 12A or section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have recommended to ban PFI,” it further stated.
Experts on ‘Jihadi terrorism’ opined that the strict action against PFI by banning it for five years under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA may create other frontal wings of the same Jihadi force in order to cater its Islamist agenda in many ways. Though successfully neutralized the ban effect, the central agencies are kept alert for any satiation India may face further after banning PFI in a very strict manner.
The organizations like SDPI (Social Democratic Front) or AIMIM (All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen) who have fellow feelings with banned PFI (Popular Fornt of India) must be taken under the scanner of the probing agencies so that agenda of banned organization cannot be materialized anyway with the support of PFI sympathizers. In the meanwhile, PFI dissolves its main and all frontal organisations after Centre announces ban for 5 years.
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__Inputs from Various Agencies.