The Centre on Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates for a period of five years. The affiliates include Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala as an "unlawful association".
"Whereas, the Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the said Act, the Central government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette," read a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
As per the notification, the PFI is involved in several criminal and terror cases and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country and with funds and ideological support from outside, it has become a major threat to internal security of the country.
"Investigations in various cases have revealed that the PFI and its cadres have been repeatedly engaging in violent and subversive acts. Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI include chopping off limb of a college professor, cold blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, obtaining explosives to target prominent people and places and destruction of public property," it added.
The law enforcement agencies have so far in their investigations found that the office-bearers and cadres of the Popular Front of India (PFI) along with others were conspiring and raising funds from within India and abroad through the banking channels, hawala, donations, etc.
As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, the funds were raised as part of a well-crafted criminal conspiracy, and the PFI has been found transferring, layering and integrating these funds through multiple accounts to project them as legitimate and eventually using these funds to carry out various criminal, unlawful and terrorist activities in India.
The investigations have revealed that the sources of deposits on behalf of PFI with respect to its several bank accounts were not supported by the financial profiles of the account holders and the activities of PFI were not being carried out as per their declared objectives.
As per the notification, the Income Tax Department cancelled the registration granted to PFI under section 12A or 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961). The Income Tax Department also cancelled the registration granted to Rehab India Foundation under section 12A or section 12AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
As per the investigating agencies, the associates or affiliates or fronts have a 'Hub and Spoke' relationship with the PFI acting as the Hub and utilising the mass outreach and fund raising capacity of its associates or affiliates or fronts for strengthening its capability for unlawful activities and these associates or affiliates or fronts function as 'roots and capillaries' through which the PFI is fed and strengthened.
The ban comes after the recent raids carried out at the premises of PFI members by the National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate.
On September 22, teams led by the NIA arrested 106 leaders and activists of the PFI in nearly 15 states.
(With inputs from IANS)