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PFI ban: Killings, attacks by PFI cited in Home Ministry’s order banning outfit

‘Criminal violent acts carried out by PFI include the chopping off of the limb of a college professor, cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths...’ Tuesday’s central government order says about the cases in Kerala.

A file photo of police personnel taking stock of the damages done to a Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus after some miscreants threw stones on it, during the 'hartal' called by Popular Front of India (PFI) in protest against the nationwide arrest of its leaders by National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate, in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. (PTI)

In its notification banning PFI, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs listed several killings and brutal attacks, which MHA said PFI cadres had carried out to “disturb peace and create a reign of terror in people’s mind”. Recalling some of the cases:


Professor’s palm chopped (2010): Months after he allegedly insulted the Prophet in a question paper he had set, Prof T J Joseph of Newman College, Thodupuzha, was attacked by PFI cadres on July 4, 2010. Arrested after the question paper row, Joseph was out on bail. He was waylaid, pulled out of his car, and his right palm was chopped off in front of his family. Twenty-eight people were arrested. In 2015, a special court in Kochi found 13 guilty of murder attempt and other charges and acquitted the others. Ten guilty men were sent to jail for eight years.

On Wednesday, Joseph said: “Many victims of PFI attacks are no more. Maintaining silence, I pledge my support to all victims of PFI attacks. This ban is a political decision. Let political leaders react to it.”

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SFI leader’s murder (2018): Abhimanyu, a Dalit student leader of Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam, was stabbed to death on July 1, 2018, following a dispute over wall graffiti in the college. Sixteen accused booked, some of them still absconding. Trial pending.

PFI members train in Kottayam, Kerala, in 2010. (PTI file)

RSS worker killed (2021): Nandu R Krishna, a native of Alappuzha, was hacked to death on February 24, 2021, following a clash between RSS and PFI men. Days before the clash, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, addressing a BJP rally in Kasargod, said Islamist terror posed a threat to Kerala, triggering protests by PFI-SDPI activists and subsequent clashes. Fifteen arrested; trial pending.

RSS workers’ murder (2021): Palakkad native S Sanjith, 27, was hacked to death on November 15, 2021. Twelve PFI men were arrested and police submitted a chargesheet. The murder spawned two allegedly retaliatory killings in Palakkad in April 2022 — PFI’s Subair was hacked to death outside a mosque; three local RSS men were arrested in the case. The next day, RSS worker S K Srinivasan was killed in similar fashion. Over 20 workers of PFI or SDPI were arrested in Srinivasan’s killing. Trial pending.



Bajrang Dal man killed (2016): Praveen Pujari, 30, was hacked to death in Kodagu district on August 14, 2016, allegedly in retaliation to stone-pelting on a mosque during a procession organised by Hindu Jagarana Vedike. Nine people associated with PFI held; police filed a chargesheet. In 2021, all nine acquitted.

Security personnel stand guard outside the RSS office in Kochi on Wednesday. (PTI)

RSS worker murder (2017): Sharath Madiwala was killed on July 4, 2017 in Dakshina Kannada’s Bantwal taluk. Seventeen people, said to be PFI-affiliated, were arrested, Khaleelullah, PFI’s Chamarajanagar district president, among them, held for allegedly harboring the main killers. Khaleelullah got bail in 2018; case still under trial.

RSS worker killed (2016): Rudresh was murdered in Bengaluru on October 16, 2016, when he was returning home after an RSS rally. Five people were arrested and police said they were affiliated to PFI. Probe was handed over to NIA, which filed chargesheet. Case under trial.


BJYM man hacked to death (2022): Praveen Nettaru was hacked to death by two bike-borne men in Dakshina Kannada district on July 26, 2022. Officers suspect he was killed in retaliation to murder of a teen, Masood, in the same area. Police arrested seven people and later handed over probe to NIA. Probe still underway.


Hindu outfit man killed (2016): C Sasikumar, affiliated to a fringe group named Hindu Munnani, was killed on September 22, 2016, at Thudiyalur, near Coimbatore. The murder sparked communal tension in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts. Handed the probe in February 2018, NIA filed charged in April 2018. It stated, “…Saddam Hussain, Zubair and other accused (Abudhakir and Mubarak), all active members of PFI, conspired and killed Sasikumar…” Five arrested; trial on.

PMK functionary killed (2019): V Ramalingam, 45, a functionary of NDA ally PMK, was killed on February 5, 2019 at Thirubhuvanam, Thanjavur. In May 2019, NIA conducted searches at PFI’s district offices in Thanjavur and Karaikal. In August 2019, NIA filed chargesheet against 18 persons; it said all accused were activists or leaders of either PFI or SDPI. Case at trial stage.

Compiled by: Shaju Philip in Thiruvananthapuram, Kiran parashar in Bengaluru & Arun Janardhanan in Chennai

First published on: 28-09-2022 at 05:21:54 pm
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