The Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliate organisations have been declared an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Government said. The notification issued by the Home Ministry on September 28 cited the outfit’s links with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Islamic State or ISIS, and said the PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases.
The Islamist outfit, which draws inspiration from Wahabi school of thought in Islam, has been accused of raising funds, from both India and abroad, through hawala and donations as part of a “well-crafted criminal conspiracy”. “With funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country,” said a Home Ministry order.
Ban was necessary
The decision to ban the Popular Front of India is a welcome step. It has been taken in the interest of the country. PFI activists were involved in terror activities. The PFI is a successor of the proscribed Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). These organisations work to break the country.
After the SIMI was banned, it regrouped into another organisation, PFI. Therefore, the Government should not throw caution to the wind. All political parties should support the Government on this. We have to wipe out the ideology of organisations such as PFI. Organisations like PFI are being used by some political parties for their vote bank. That’s why this organisation lasts for a long time.
The Government has imposed a ban on PFI after the NIA report and thorough investigation. If anyone finds this ban wrong, then they can go to court and express their point of view. It is wrong to question the investigation of the NIA. Questioning the country’s investigative agencies means questioning the entire system of India. Some people are looking at the ban through the prism of communalism. Those who oppose the ban are doing out of political reasons.
The PFI rose to prominence after its cadres meted out Talibani-like punishment to Prof TJ Joseph of Newman College in Kerala for alleged blasphemy by “chopping off the hand of a college professor in Kerala and cold-blooded killings of people associated with organisations espousing other faiths”.
The PFI which had set its goal of Islamisation of Bharat by 2047, has been promoting radicalisation and violence. Several swayamsevaks and BJP leaders in Southern States have been targeted.
Besides the PFI, organisations affiliated with it have also been banned, except its political wing Social Democratic Party of India. These are Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CF), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
A treasure trove of evidence
The raids have yielded a treasure trove of evidence and information on the working and funding sources of the organisation. It also included brochure and CD related to Mission 2047 (a document containing material for converting India into an Islamic State). The ED in its remand report of Kannur native Shafi Payath to the court said that PFI tried to attack PM Modi’s rally on July 12 at Patna. NIA has also informed that during nationwide raids conducted at PFI leaders and offices, highly incriminating documents were seized.
The probe agency also stated that during investigation, it was found that PFI motivated Muslim youths to join terrorist groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. High end communication devices were recovered from one PFI operative Barkatullah in Tamil Nadu, which were being used for deep sea navigation avoiding the detection of coastguard and law enforcement agencies. PFI has a long history of claiming victimisation even at the drop of a hat. However, the violence orchestrated by its leaders and cadres post arrest of its leaders exposed the violent tendencies of the organisation and proved to the public that arrests were made in the right direction.
Another jolt for PFI
The Popular Front of India (PFI) which was banned for five years by the Union Home Ministry got a jolt in the form of an order by the Kerala High Court to deposit an amount of Rs 5.2 crore with the additional chief secretary (Government of Kerala), towards damages estimated by the State Administration as well as the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation on account of its flash hartal on September 23. The hartal was held across Kerala as a mark of protest against the September 22 arrests of the leaders of the PFI from different places in the State.
A Division Bench consisting of Justices A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and C P Mohammed Nias ruled that PFI and its general secretary were “wholly and directly” responsible for the injuries inflicted by their supporters on the citizens as also for the damage caused to public and private properties. The PFI activists had rioted across the State on September 23 to make the people down the shutters of their shops as part of enforcing total shut down. The hartal mongers destroyed commodities stored in the shops of traders who refused to oblige them. While the police remained mute spectators, the Division Bench of Justices Nambiar and Niaz took suo motu contempt proceedings against the PFI activists and ordered the police to save the common man from the rioting.
Southern States especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where PFI has a considerable presence, witnessed a spate of violence in aftermath of the arrest of PFI leaders. Many members of PFI engaged in violence including throwing petrol bombs and arson in several places in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in protest against the action by NIA. PFI damaged many Government and private vehicles, hurled petrol bombs at several houses and held road blockades creating inconvenience to the public. More than 20 PFI/SDPI cadres have been arrested in Tamil Nadu for violent acts after the arrest of its leaders. Similarly, in Kerala, more than 22 PFI/SDPI cadres were detained for indulging in violence after the arrest of its leaders.
PFI filled its coffers through NRI accounts
PFI used to get funds through Non-Resident Indian (NRI) accounts. ED has found out that PFI got Rs 120 crore through NRI accounts. Lion’s share of it came from Qatar and Turkey. Money come to various trusts operating under PFI. A major portion of that money was spent in districts in Malabar religion. During 2015 and 2018, major portion of the money came to Kozhikode district. Investigation agency has unearthed that Rs 44 crore was spent in Kozhikode during that period; Rs 42 crore went to Malappuram and Rs 40 crore to Kannur. These monies were spent for building institutions. Likewise they started numerous institutions in 2015–18 period. Large amount of money has also flowed to Satyasarani, the religious conversion centre in Malappuram district.
PFI had launched recruiting agencies in Gulf countries with the idea of amassing money for terrorist activities. Such agencies came up in countries belonging to Gulf Cooperative Council and Syria. And, several candidates were recruited. About 30,000 candidates, from various state of Bharat, have been employed through these agencies. They not only worked for their employers but also for PFI. Every month they contribute Dirhams 100 which is ultimately spent for terrorist activities in Bharat. National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also found that some Muslim industrialists and businessmen based in Gulf countries and Kolkata regularly contribute to PFI. NIA has found digital evidences for this during its nation-wide raids.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had visited Thiruvananthapuram one week ago. He had met Kerala’s State Police Chief Anil Kant and apprised him of the anti-national activities of PFI.
— T Satisan
OMA Salam, PFI Chairman is presently under suspension from Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and is undergoing departmental enquiry for his unauthorised travel abroad and also holding the post of PFI Chairman while being a Government employee. A diary recovered by ED from Salam’s close associate M Mohammed Ismail revealed about a dark sinister plot of PFI and Salam to create a civil war-like situation in India. Nazarudheen Ealamaram, National Secretary of PFI, has ten cases registered against him under different sections since 2009. P Koya, National executive Council member of PFI was a committed SIMI leader during 1978-79. He was also involved in creating a divide between Gujjars and Malis of Rajasthan. He along with EM Abdul Rahiman, vice president of PFI, was privately hosted by IHH, an Al-Qaida-linked Turkish charity organisation. EM Abdul Rahiman was the All India General Secretary of SIMI in 1984 and was also associated with Karuna Foundation, a pro-SIMI organisation. Anis Ahmed, General Secretary of PFI, openly supported and praised Hamas, an international terrorist organisation. The list is long. It will take at least dozens of pages just to describe the criminal past of PFI leadership. The point is- most of the PFI leaders have a dark past filled with hate for the country and its establishments. All they want is the implementation of their own ideology at any cost. They have no concern for the common Muslims.
Questions are arising from every quarters about the evil intention of PFI leaders, who were planning to destabilise the nation. Those claiming victimisation and Islamophobia must give judgements on the basis of the outcome of the raids and investigation, rather than giving knee-jerk responses. The only solution to save the country from the sinister plots of the PFI was to ban it.