CAA row: UP police seeks ban on PFI

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) O. P. Singh has sent a letter to the state home department seeking a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI).

The request was made in the backdrop of a probe conducted by the Uttar Pradesh Police which found PFI’s key role in triggering violence during the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) protests that took place on December 19.

This marks the beginning of the process for the ban on the controversial organisation.

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The Uttar Pradesh Home Department will now recommend the ban to the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Centre.

Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya, on Tuesday, told reporters that the state government was strongly in favour of banning the PFI. It is said to be a ”recycled” organisation of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was designated as a terrorist organisation and banned in 2001.

“A number of SIMI activists are now in the PFI and have been instigating violence in the state. Nearly 22 of their members have been arrested during recent protests. The PFI is active in seven states including Uttar Pradesh.”

PFI’s national secretary Anees Ahmed said, “Everyone knows what’s happening in Uttar Pradesh, how UP police crossed all the lines to indulge in violence. Now, to hide their failures and to silence the voice of people, they are coming up with this diversion of seeking a ban on PFI. We (PFI) are not even fully operational in UP. We just have an ad-hoc committee here”.

PFI, an organisation based in Delhi, was founded on November 22, 2006. Protests which marred the state earlier this month saw people expressing their dissent against the newly-amended citizenship law and seeking its withdrawal.

Various police personnel and protesters clashed during the agitation across the state. The state government had also imposed prohibitory orders to avert any untoward incident.

Pursuant to the widespread protests, the Uttar Pradesh Police had arrested three members of PFI including its state president Waseem Ahmad.

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