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PFI, an Islamic movement, is prohibited in India based on terrorism

India bans Islamic group Popular Front of India for terrorism

The Islamic organization Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates were deemed illegal by India on Wednesday.

After police detained more than 100 PFI members in September, India accused the organization of being involved in “terrorism” and issued a five-year ban.

The Campus Front of India (CFI), the PFI’s now-banned student section, dubbed the government move a political vengeance and propaganda but the PFI did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

“We are against the concept of a Hindu nation, we are against fascism, not India,’’ The National Secretary of the CFI, Imran P.J. told Reuters. “We will overcome this challenge. We will revive our ideology after five years. We will also consider going to court against the ban.’’

When their office was raided and scores of its members were jailed in various states earlier on Tuesday, the PFI refuted allegations of violence and anti-national activity.

PFI and its affiliates have “been found to be involved in serious offences, including terrorism and its financing, targeted brutal killings, violating the constitutional set up,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which announced the ban.

Mr. Imran, though, denied having any connection to terrorism.

13 percent of India’s 1.4 billion population are Muslims, and many of them have complained about marginalization under the leadership of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the meantime, Mr. Modi’s party has refuted claims of discrimination against Muslims and cited statistics showing that all Indians, regardless of religion, profit from the government’s emphasis on economic growth and social welfare.

The PFI has backed causes such as demonstrations against a 2019 citizenship reform that many Muslims view 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 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 government, according to the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), has delivered a blow against democracy and human rights. The SDPI collaborates with the PFI on several subjects but was left out of the ban.

“Freedom of speech, protests and organizations have been ruthlessly suppressed by the regime against the basic principles of the Indian constitution,” the SDPI said in a statement.

It added, “The regime is misusing the investigation agencies and laws to silence the opposition and to scare the people from expressing the voice of dissent. An undeclared emergency is clearly visible in the country.’’

The PFI and its affiliates CFI, Rehab India Foundation, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organization, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala were all declared illegal by the government, according to a notification.

Mr. Imran claimed that the government had not offered any evidence to support the claim that PFI had engaged in terrorism or collaborated with Islamic State.

Over the past 20 years, India has had a number of significant militant strikes, the majority of which have been connected to Islamists based in Pakistan’s neighbor.

Late in 2006, three south Indian organizations merged to establish the PFI, which was publicly introduced in 2007.

On its website, it describes itself as a “social movement aspiring for full empowerment.”


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