For the past few months, for all wrong and unwanted reasons i.e. ‘From Hijab Row’ to ‘2047 Plan’, Popular Front of India (PFI) has hogged headlines. But Thursday was the first instance when PFI was caught for the right reasons on the news. We may recollect our memory of the first ever surgical strike. Yes!, it was on September 29, 2016. India had then conducted a surgical strike against militant launch pads. This time it was yet another surgical strike that was conducted by the Union Government on the midnight of September 22, 2022. It was the largest surgical raid ever conducted in NIA history with around 500 PFI raids at one time. This surgical strike was almost similar to the surgical strike conducted on Pakistan. We may call this surgical raid also part one of a major milestone of Swachh Bharat.
NIA officers were already aware that PFI and terrorist activities flourished in India, especially in Kerala, and that is why 200 NIA officers were sent to Kerala. Once permission was received, 200 highly skilled officers of NIA, ED and other secret agencies arrived in many parts of Kerala. Even top police officers of Kerala did not know this. Within four hours of the raid, PFI leaders were arrested and taken into custody from various areas and were brought to Delhi in a ready-made flight. By dawn, the PFI leaders were in Delhi. Before the State Governments could figure out what was happening, NIA had taken these terrorist leaders to Delhi with very strong evidence. Ajit Doval’s trademark presence in this operation was proof of the fact that the surgical strike that took place in the State, especially in Kerala, to uproot the PFI was like the surgical strike that hit Pakistan.
Way back in 2006, three Muslim organisations—the National Democratic Front in Kerala, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu came together to form Popular Front of India. The decision was formally announced at a rally in Bengaluru during the “Empower India Conference” on February 16, 2007. There are clear evidences that PFI has conducted terrorist activities in the past, acts of treason, money laundering, help from foreign countries to engage in terrorist activities, links between PFI leaders and their links with Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI terrorist groups. From Azad Maidan to Shaheen Baag, from Kerala murders to Rajasthan and UP riots, one name that constantly coming in news was PFI. In spite of all this solid evidence, no Government has dared to raid PFI. So they were working against the nation at leisure. But this time, NIA took strong steps by capturing and taking the leaders to Delhi. By its swift and impromptu action, NIA has ensured that the arrested leaders could not come out soon.
SIMI, a Muslim extremists organisation active in late 1990s and early 20s, was responsible for a lot of terror incidents. In 2001, it was banned by the Vajpayee Government and by the Supreme court in 2008. Therefore, PFI was formed in 2006 and registered its growth in India. In 2019, the Modi Government brought CAA. To counter this, PFI started brainwashing Muslims that BJP and RSS wanted to throw them out of the country. PFI started to grow rapidly.
Intelligence Bureau informed the Ministry of Home affairs that “SIMI is back”. It was told, “A united enemy is always powerful. Before attacking, first make them weak” . Hence, a strategy was made to weaken PFI. A joint team was made of IB and ED. IB was asked to ascertain how PFI works. ED was asked to crack their funding. Both started working on it and collected a lot of information well in advance. NIA crackdown on PFI cell in Bihar with help of the Bihar Police led to recovery of an important document. Though they were aware of all PFI activities, this document exposed the plan of PFI in public.
Ajit Doval met Muslim dharma gurus in an Interfaith meeting. A resolution was passed by Muslim dharma guru that all the anti national and divisive organistion must be banned. PFI was aware that they can be banned any time so they already had made Plan B. They have made various other organisations like SDPI, Campus Front of India, NWF, AIIC, All India Legal Council, HRDF, SDTU and Rehab India Foundation. So that if the Government bans PFI, they can carry it by another name.
Under the guidance of Prime MInister, Shri Narendra Modi, Doval’s plan of “Operation Midnight Plan” was executed. Before banning PFI, the plan was to first destroy it. And make the biggest raid of Indian history by arresting all PFI key decision makers at the same time. Part of the strategy was first cutting the roots of PFI. It started well in advance. President of PFI belongs to the Ashraf community and there is rivalry between Ashraf and Pasmanda. Prime Minister Modi reached out to Pasmanda to further weaken their plan to become the whole and sole leader of all Muslims.
Before the nationwide crackdown on PFI, its leaders were under surveillance by NIA and other secret agencies, especially PFI leaders in Kerala. A joint meeting was organised between NIA, IB and ED in presence of Doval and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and a decision was taken in the meeting that a joint team of NIA and ED will raid 93 locations of PFI on the midnight of September 22 and will arrest all together. If they didn’t arrest them together then PFI second command leaders would have created unrest in India and destroyed evidence. Due to this precaution taken by the Union Government to ensure that there was no law and order problem and PFI did not get any sympathy and support from Muslims and their organisations.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind opposes ban
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) President Syed Sadatullah Husaini has opposed the ban on Popular Front of India (PFI). In a statement to the media, the JIH President said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses disagreement over the government’s decision to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates. Banning an organisation is neither a solution nor does it suit a democratic society. The culture of banning the organisations is in itself a clear violation of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution and goes against the democratic spirit and basic civil liberties.”