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UAPA Tribunal upholds ban on Popular Front of India, affiliated organisations

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The UAPA Tribunal on Tuesday upheld the ban imposed by the Central government on Muslim political organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) and several of its associates under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for their alleged involvement in terror-related activities.

Headed by Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma, judge of the Delhi High Court, the Tribunal upheld the September 28, 2022 ban imposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs with immediate effect for a period of five years in exercise of the powers under Section 3 (1) of UAPA.

In its September, 2022 order, the Ministry had further banned the Rehab India Foundation (RIF), the Campus Front of India (CF), the All India Imams Council (AIIC), the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), the National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and the Rehab Foundation, Kerala under UAPA.

A notification to this effect was issued on the night of September 27, 2022, stating that PFI and its affiliates have been found to be involved in subversive activities and disturbing the public order.

Their acts undermined the country’s constitutional set-up and enforced a terror-based regressive regime, it added.

The notification further said that PFI and its affiliates continued to propagate anti-national sentiments and radicalised 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 notification further said that some of 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).

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.

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