The Popular Front of India Banned (PFI), which came into limelight after the Center was banned for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged terror links, was set up in 2006.
Here’s a 5-Point Guide on Organization
PFI was formed in 2006 by the merger of three organizations – Rashtriya Vikas Morcha of Kerala, Manitha Neeti Pasarai of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Forum for Dignity. The organization later expanded to other parts of the country as more organizations joined it. The PFI reportedly does not keep any records of the members and this has been a significant hurdle for the agencies to link the illegal activities carried out by the individuals to the group.
UAPA imposed and Popular Front of India Banned
The PFI, which was set up after the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), has said that its aim is socio-economic empowerment of Muslims and other marginalized communities. However, investigative agencies maintain that they use their social activities as a front and are involved in radicalizing youth and mobilizing resources for terrorist activities.
The organization came under the scanner after members of the organization cut off the hand of a college professor in Kerala. He alleged that he had prepared a Malayalam question paper with derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad. The PFI has also been accused of carrying out attacks on supporters of the Sangh Parivar, some of them fatal.
Central agencies are also probing the funding of PFI and its affiliated organisations. The leaders of the organization are said to travel to the Middle East to raise funds for their activities. The organization has also been accused of helping terrorist organizations like ISIS in recruiting youth.
PFI has never contested an election alone. However, its political wing, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), established in 2009, has contested assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka with little success. In local elections, however, the organization is consolidating its hold in areas with some influence, such as Udupi.
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