India bans Muslim group for alleged terrorist activities

Members of the Muslim organization Popular Front of India (PFI) undergo parade training at a football ground in Kottayam, southern Kerala state, India, June 27, 2010. India’s government Wednesday, Sept.28, 2022 banned PFI for five years, accusing it Wednesday of funding terrorist activities, providing armed training to its supporters and radicalizing people for anti-India activities. (AP Photo/ R S Iyer)

India’s government banned a Muslim organization for five years, accusing it of funding terrorist activities, providing armed training to its supporters and radicalizing people for anti-India activities

A Muslim group was given a five-year ban by the Indian government after accusations were made against it on Wednesday that it supported terrorism, gave its adherents firearms training, and radicalized people for anti-Indian actions.

The ban came after this month’s raids on the offices of the Popular Front of India and the arrests and custody of close to 200 of its members.

The PFI’s legal representative denied the charges and charged that the investigating authorities had created false evidence to attack the organization.

More over 14% of the almost 1.4 billion inhabitants in India are Muslims. Critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi blame the escalating hostilities between Muslims and Hindus on his administration’s objective of Hindu nationalism.

The PFI was charged by the government with having ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen of Bangladesh, and the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India.

According to the government’s notification, “PFI and its allies worked openly as a socio-economic, educational, and political organization, but they have been pursuing a secret objective to radicalize a specific portion of the society.”

With the merger of the Karnataka Forum for Dignity and the National Development Front, the organization was created in 2006 to oppose Hindu-nationalist organizations.

Mohammed Tahir, a lawyer for the PFI, claimed that the government had failed to provide proof that the group was sponsoring terror acts in India by orchestrating riots in cities and attacking Hindu groups and their leaders, as well as by obtaining funding from abroad.

According to India’s National Investigating Agency, PFI has committed violent crimes over the years, including the amputation of a college professor’s hand, the murder of members of other religious groups, financial assistance for the Islamic State, and property destruction.

According to a statement, these violent acts “have had a demonstrated effect of putting panic in the minds of the populace.”

Modi’s detractors claim that the reelection of his Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019 by a landslide has given the home ministry and investigating agencies more leeway to do things like revoke Kashmir’s partial autonomy—only India’s Muslim-majority state—and implement a citizens’ registry in Assam that excluded 2 million people, many of them Muslims.

The strict Unlawful Actions (Prevention) Act, which gives the government unprecedented powers to deal with activities intended against the integrity and sovereignty of India, was used to enact the PFI prohibition. In the absence of legal proceedings, it may label certain people as terrorists.


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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