The Uttar Pradesh government has started preparations to ban Islamist organisation, the Popular Front of India (PFI), after arrests of 20 odd miscreants, interrogation of the suspects and intelligence reports pointed at their involvement in inciting the demonstrators-turned-mobs against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The state intelligence assessment report revealed that the PFI played an active role in the riots during the demonstrations.
According to state government sources, the home department of the Yogi Adityanath administration has begun drafting a proposal after several cases of violence during demonstrations in the state left tell-tale evidence against PFI members.
So far, about 20 PFI members have been arrested in connection with the riots in 21 districts of Uttar Pradesh. These include state president Noor Hasan of the Social Democratic Party of India, the political wing of the PFI. In the state capital Lucknow, the police arrested PFI state convenor Wasim Ahmed and other officials in a case of large-scale violence and arson in the city.
The central leadership of the PFI says that the Uttar Pradesh government is implicating the organisation on false charges. The PFI has said that Ahmad, arrested by Lucknow Police, had no role in riots, arson or damage to government property. A PFI official said, “These arrests are part of a larger conspiracy to suppress these mass movements and present them as a terrorist incident.”
During the riots following the Friday mass prayers by Muslims, 21 people were killed and around 400 people were injured in the state. The worst affected by the violence during the protest was western Uttar Pradesh, where 318 people have been arrested for arson, shootings and destruction of government property.
Not only according to The New Indian Express but also according to media houses sympathetic to the disruptors like The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Washington Post and Tehelka, the PFI is an extremist and militant Islamic fundamentalist organisation in India formed as a successor to National Development Front (NDF) in 2006. It acquired a multi-state dimension by merging with the National Development Front, Manitha Neethi Pasarai, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and other organisations.
The PFI describes itself as a neo-social movement committed to empowering people to ensure justice, freedom and security The organisation has various wings to cater to different sections of society, including the National Women’s Front and the Campus Front of India, but is essentially an Islamist outfit.