The Ministry of Home Affairs declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its eight affiliates unlawful association for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Upon the insistence of the governments of UP, Karnataka and Gujarat, this ban came shortly after the NIA, ED and various state police forces carried out a coordinated nationwide crackdown on the PFI. Terming it a witch-hunt against student activists involved in anti-CAA protests, PFI chairman O.M.A Salam said that the probe against the organisation was politically motivated.In 2019, the Uttar Pradesh government sought a ban on the PFI for its alleged involvement in anti-CAA protests in parts of the state. The Central government’s ban on the PFI was imposed on several counts centred on terror including terror funding and training. Consequently, hundreds of its leaders have been apprehended in the past few days.
The specific reasons for the Union government to ban the outfit pertains to the PFI’s efforts to radicalise vulnerable persons of a community, its links to other terrorist organisations including the ISIS, and more significantly, posing a threat to India’s internal security by way of involvement in major violent incidents that point at the PFI. Having been under the scanner for over a decade, the PFI joins the list of the likes of LeT, JeM, SIMI and al Qaeda.