By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-09-28 07:18:53
Calling the Popular Front of India (PFI) the hub and its various front organizations the spokes, the Centre today moved to ban the hub and the spokes (specifically naming several of them like Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala ) for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by citing them as major security threats to the nation. The move follows two rounds of country-wide raids on the PFI and its associate organizations, spearheaded by the National Investigation Agnecy (NIA), which allegedly yielded enough evidence to warrant such extreme action.
The raids on the PFI are said to have led investigators to the fact that many members have joined the IS and are engaged in subversive activities. It also led them to the money trail in terror funding cases when people of ordinary means were found to donate huge sums to the PFI or its fronts. The order banning the organizations said that "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."
Immediately after the ban on the PFI and its associates was announced, there were demands from several quarters for also banning the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the banned PFI. But just banning these organizations is not the solution, as the Indian Express has said in an editorial. The editorial argues that the PFI is as much a security threat as a political problem. The government has taken care of the first problem by banning the outfit and its associate organizations. Now it will have to address the issue of ensuring greater participation of Muslims in the mainstream political process to prevent outfits like the PFI from working on their disgruntlement and marginalization and turning them against the state.