The Central Government has banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and eight of its associate organisations for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The PFI was declared an “unlawful association” under the UAPA after the nationwide crackdown on the radical outfit as the police in as many as seven states conducted raids and detained or arrested more than 270 people with alleged links to the radical outfit.
Apart from the PFI, its affiliate organisations Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CF), 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, have also been banned.
Here are a few of those PFI’s associates:
All India Imams Council
This organisation, affiliated to the PFI, was an association of ulemas and imams (scholars and prayer leaders). The AIMC is largely prevalent in some North Indian states and parts of North Karnataka. It has recently spoken up against issues such as the Gyan Vapi mosque dispute in Varanasi and the state intervention in the management of madrasas.
National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations
NCHRO, an umbrella organisation of various human rights groups, has suspended all its activities following the notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Prof A Marx of NCHRO has said they would pursue legal remedies against the ban.
The organisation operates in different states of the country and has published various fact-finding reports. It is critical of arbitrary arrests and has taken up campaigns against legislations such as the UAPA and organises events like the anti-torture day.
National Women’s Front
This is the women’s wing of the PFI. According to its Facebook page, the organisation was founded with the objective of empowering women. Lubna Menhaz Shaikh from Karnataka was elected the president of the front for a two-year period from 2021 to 2023.
This is a little-known organisation primarily involved with school children. The group is not as prominent as PFI and other organisations affiliated with the outfit.
Empower India Foundation
This organisation provides “provides conceptual, intellectual and motivational support to weaker sections of the society”. Headquartered in Bengaluru, it runs ‘Project India 2047’ aimed at uplifting Dalit and Muslim communities ahead of the centenary Independence Day celebration. Mohammed Shaffeeq is its CEO.