Defence IndustryInternal Security

Center Bans PFI And Eight Affiliated Groups For 5 Years, Citing Their “Unlawful Acts”

Story Highlights
  • The notice also said that PFI members were involved in a number of terrorist acts and the deaths of a number of people all over the country.
  • "The office bearers and cadres of the PFI, along with others, are conspiring and raising money from within India and abroad through banking channels, hawala, donations, etc.

Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its partners, including the Rehab India Foundation (RIF) and Campus Front of India, for five years.

The PFI and its allies were banned by the MHA, and the gazette notice came a day after the second nationwide crackdown on the radical group in five days. On Tuesday, police teams in seven states raided homes and detained or arrested more than 270 people who were thought to be connected to the radical group.

In its notification, the ministry said that the PFI and its associates, affiliates, and fronts have been doing illegal things that hurt India’s integrity, sovereignty, and security, could hurt public peace and harmony between different groups, and support militancy in the country.

“The Central Government is of the opinion that it is necessary to use its powers under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the UAPA Act because the PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases and has a complete lack of respect for the country’s constitutional authority. With money and ideas from outside the country, the PFI has become a major threat to the country’s internal security. Investigations into different cases have shown that the PFI and its members have been involved in criminal and terror activities.

After banning the PFI, the MHA sent out another notification with the subject line “Delegation of Power.” It said that the Central Government, using the powers given to it by Section 42 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, directs State Governments and the administrations of the Union Territories to use all the powers given to them by Section 7 (which says that funds can’t be used) and Section 8 (which says that places used for an illegal group must be reported) of the Unlawful Activities

In the first notification, the MHA said that some of the founding members of the PFI are the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and that the radical group has ties to the banned Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). “PFI had been linked to international terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in a number of cases” (ISIS). The PFI and its allies or fronts have been working secretly to make one group more radical by making people feel unsafe in the country. This is proven by the fact that some PFI members have joined international terrorist groups, as stated in the report.

The notice also talked about the group’s many partners or fronts, such as 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 gets money from PFI members, and some PFI members are also members of CFI, EIF, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. PFI leaders keep an eye on the activities of the junior front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), and National Women’s Front. All of the PFI’s associates, affiliates, and fronts were made so that it could reach more people in different parts of society, such as youth, students, women, Imams, lawyers, or weaker parts of society. “The PFI’s only goal is to grow its membership, influence, and ability to raise money,” the document says.

The notification also said, “The PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts operate openly as a socio-economic, educational, and political organisation, but they have been pursuing a secret plan to radicalise a certain part of society, working to undermine the idea of democracy and showing complete disrespect for the constitutional authority and constitutional set-up of the country.”

The MHA said that the PFI had done violent things, such as cutting off a college professor’s arms and legs, killing people who were part of groups that believed in other religions, getting explosives to use against famous people and places, and destroying public property.

The notice also said that PFI members were involved in a number of terrorist acts and the deaths of a number of people all over the country. “All criminal activities and brutal murders have been done by PFI cadres with the sole purpose of disturbing public peace and tranquilly and creating a reign of terror in the minds of the public. There have been a number of instances of international links between PFI and global terrorist groups, and some PFI activists have joined ISIS and taken part in terror activities in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan,” it said.

“Some of these PFI members with ties to ISIS have been killed in these conflict zones, and others have been arrested by state police and Central agencies.”

“The office bearers and cadres of the PFI, along with others, are conspiring and raising money from within India and abroad through banking channels, hawala, donations, etc., as part of a well-crafted criminal plot, and then transferring, layering, and integrating these funds through multiple accounts to make them look like they are legitimate, and finally using these funds to carry out various criminal, illegal, and terrorist activities in India,” the MHA said.

According to the notification, the Income Tax Department revoked the PFI’s registration under section 12A or 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) because the sources of deposits into its various bank accounts did not match the financial profiles of the account holders and the group’s activities were not in line with its stated goals. “The Income Tax Department also cancelled Rehab India Foundation’s registration under section 12A or section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961,” it said. “The state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Gujarat have recommended that PFI be banned,” it added.

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