The Union of India has constituted a tribunal to review the ban imposed on Muslim political organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliated organisations under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for their alleged involvement in terror-related activities.
The Central government further appointed Delhi High Court Judge, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, as the Presiding Officer of the tribunal, which will examine the causes leading to the ban, besides the reasons for imposing a ban on the organisation and its associates.
After imposing a ban on an institution, the Union government has to constitute a tribunal within 30 days, to review the same.
On September 27, the Union government had imposed a ban for five years on PFI, 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 the Rehab Foundation, Kerala under UAPA.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a notification on the night of September 27, stating that PFI and its affiliates have been found to be involved in subversive activities and disturbing the public order.
Their acts undermine the country’s constitutional set-up and enforce a terror-based regressive regime, it added.
The notification further said that PFI and its affiliates continue to propagate anti-national sentiments and radicalise a particular section of society, with the intention to create “disaffection” against the country.
It added that in view of the above reasons, it was necessary to declare PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts to be an unlawful association with immediate effect.
The Ministry also said in the notification that some of the PFI’s founding members were leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), while PFI also had linkages with the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
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Stating that both JMB and SIMI were proscribed organisations, the notification said that there had been many instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
It further claimed that PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase the radicalisation of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which was substantiated by the fact that some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations.