Popular Front of India

The Central Government has banned the Popular Front of India for 5 years.

Key facts

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their links with terrorist groups and subversive activities.
  • The ban was imposed based on the recommendations from the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat.
  • Now, the PFI has joined the LeT, JeM, al Qaida, SIMI and other extremist groups on the “banned” list.
  • 8 organizations that are operating as affiliates to the PFI have also been banned.
  • These include 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.
  • The ban does not include the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), which was formed within the PFI to focus on the political issues. The SDPI is not banned since it is a registered political party and comes under the purview of the Election Commission of India.
  • The MHA banned PFI and its associates citing links with terrorist groups like Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and obtaining funding and ideological support from external sources.
  • It was also involved in killings, dismembering of body parts and obtaining explosives for targeting prominent people or public property.

What is PFI?

The PFI was founded in 2007 as a result of the merger of the three Muslim organizations – the National Democratic Front (NDF) in Kerala, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu. It was founded by members of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). It was created after the SIMI was banned by the Indian Government in 2001. Its works are similar to that of Hindu right-wing outfits groups Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It was involved in the social work for Muslims as well as for the marginalized, minorities and Scheduled Caste communities.

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