Centre bans PFI and its associates for 5 years after week of nationwide raids

The Central Government on Tuesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI), declaring the outfit and all its associates, affiliates and fronts as illegal for a period of five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is (UAPA). With this, the PFI has been added to the list of 42 banned terrorist organisations under Section 35 of the UAPA.

As per the notification released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday, PFI’s associate organisations — 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 and Rehab Foundation, Kerala — have also been banned

This comes a day after over 270 people linked to the PFI were detained or arrested in a series of raids across seven states. The police in Karnataka were at the forefront of the operations, detaining “as a precautionary measure” more than 80 members of the PFI and its political wing, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), in the state. The action was taken over inputs of possible disturbance to public order, officers said. Raids were also carried out in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and UP.

Last Thursday, a multi-agency nationwide operation in 15 states spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and law enforcement agencies had led to the arrest of over 100 PFI workers, including the outfit’s chairman O M A Salam.

Reacting to the development, BJP’s national spokesperson, Shehzad Poonawalla tweeted: “Strong & timely action by Central Government, MHA that has banned the #PFI for a period of five years. But we have seen in the past how Congress, SP, RJD, Left, etc have given political patronage to terror in name of votebank.”

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