November 2, 2017 12:17:09 am
The BJP on Wednesday warned that if the NIA collected more evidence against the Popular Front of India, the government could consider using the anti-terrorism law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, that has provisions to ban an organisation.
The Union Home Ministry has been given a report by the NIA against Kerala-based PFI regarding its alleged links with terror activities, sources have said earlier. The NIA has claimed that the group has been involved in terror acts, including running terror camps and making bombs and was a fit case to be banned under the UAPA.
The BJP on Wednesday accused the PFI of radicalisation of youth in Kerala and said that terror activities were going on. It said the issue of terrorism and security had acquired menacing dimensions in the state. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters: “What is distressing is such a serious issue of national security, radicalisation and terrorism is also being sacrificed at the altar of pure vote bank politics.”
He mentioned a report that was beamed on the India Today TV channel and said forced conversions by the Kerala-based organisation had become a national issue. He said the office-bearers of the PFI, caught in a sting operation by the channel, said their goal was to bring the Islamic State to India. “Such terrorist groups, taking foreign funds, are making plans to create an Islamic State in Bharat. Young sons and daughters are being radicalised for it. This is a serious national security issue,” Prasad said.
When asked if the government was considering banning the PFI, Prasad said: “I cannot comment now. Obviously in the investigation if more evidence comes, the provisions of the UAPA will have to be considered by the government.” Asked what action would the government take against the PFI, the minister said the NIA would take a call and added that the BJP was trying to “expose the sinister design” behind “the public face of peace and amity”.
BJP leader and former state BJP president of Kerala P K Krishna Das said: “If any volunteer wants to follow a faith, the Constitution allows it. But inducement, intimidation, allurement by money… cannot be permitted, because its a psychological kidnapping.”
Warning Kerala’s CPI(M)-led government, with which the BJP has been in a high-pitched political and ideological battle, Prasad said for “pure vote bank politics” the CPI(M) government was “bartering” national security. “You have been elected to govern the state of Kerala and maintaining security and safety of the citizen is your primary responsibility. If because of the PFI, the life of the common citizens in Kerala is under threat, then they must leave politics…” Prasad said.
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