The Popular Front of India and all of its affiliates have been declared illegal by the Centre for five years because they engaged in illegal actions that were “prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, and security of the country.”
By declaring the group illegal and its members will face criminal charges also the assets of the group will be frozen. The Popular Front of India (PFI) was declared illegal for the next five years by the Centre after two rounds of statewide raids resulted in the arrest of over 200 members and leaders.
Imran P.J., national secretary of the CFI, told Reuters: “We are against the idea of a Hindu nation; we are against fascism, not India.” We’ll get beyond this obstacle. After five years, our philosophy will be resurrected. We will also think about challenging the prohibition in court. “When the PFI’s headquarters was searched and many members were taken in custody in many states on Tuesday, PFI vehemently refuted any allegations of violence and anti-national activity.
The PFI has now been added to the list of 42 terrorist organisations that are prohibited by Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as a result of the government’s most recent action. The Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala are affiliates that are subject to the Center’s PFI ban.
Modi’s party disputes claims of prejudice against Muslims and cites statistics showing that the government’s emphasis on social welfare and economic development benefits all Indians, regardless of religion.
The PFI has backed causes such as demonstrations against a 2019 citizenship reform that many Muslims view as discriminatory and this year’s demonstrations in the southern state of Karnataka calling for the right for Muslim female students to wear the headscarf in class.
Eight years after Narendra Modi initially took office as prime minister, the restriction is sure to spark outrage among the administration’s detractors. The government still enjoys widespread public support and a solid majority in parliament.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, was invoked by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to impose a five-year ban on the PFI and its affiliated organisations, including the Rehab India Foundation (RIF) and Campus Front of India.
According to Section 38 of the UAPA, anybody who “associates himself, or purports to be linked, with a terrorist organisation with the intention of enhancing its activities, commits an offence relating to membership in a terrorist organisation” is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Another section of the UAPA says, “Any person who is a member of a terrorist gang or a terrorist organisation, which is involved in a terrorist act, shall be penalized with imprisonment for a term which may extend to life imprisonment, and shall also be liable to a fine.”
Members of the group, however, stated that a ban wouldn’t stop them. In an article by The Quint, Usman Hameed of PFI said, “Even if we become banned, the ideals we have been inculcating will not die.” Additionally, banning the group could damage its support and appeal among the public, making a comeback more difficult.