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Center planning to ban Popular Front of India alleging terror links

Center planning to ban Popular Front of India alleging terror links

New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry is contemplating a “crackdown” on Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI) and mulling a ban on it for its alleged links with terror activities, a charge strongly denied by the outfit.

The move comes after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted a report on the PFI to the ministry claiming that the group has been involved in terror acts, including running terror camps and making bombs, and it was a fit case to be declared banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a home ministry official said today.

The cases which the NIA cited for PFIs alleged involvement in terror acts are: chopping of a professors palm in Keralas Idukki district, organising a training camp in Kannur from where the NIA allegedly seized swords, country- made bombs and ingredients for making IEDs, murder of RSS leader Rudresh in Bengaluru and the plans to carry out terror attacks in South India by involving another outfit, Islamic State Al-Hindi.

The home ministry official said there have been enough documents regarding PFIs involvement in terror activities in South India and the central government cannot remain a mute spectator.

“The time has come to act and carry out crackdown on PFI before it gets too late,” the official said.

The official refused to elaborate the kind of action the home ministry was contemplating against the PFI but its action may include declaring the outfit as banned under the UAPA.

The NIA has prepared the report on the PFI after conducting a detailed probe on it, another official said.

PFIs national executive council member P Koya strongly refuted the NIA claims, saying the agency had never approached the outfit to know about its activities, if there has been any investigation at all.

“The activities of the PFI were not anti-national but more nationalistic. We have never run any terror camps nor involved in any terror act. There is no reason to call us a terror group unless you want to label us a terrorist organisation,” he told PTI over phone.

Koya said there have been just 10 cases against PFI in its 25 years of existence and it was “normal” for any organisation.

He claimed that at least 100 people were killed in the clashes between the RSS and CPI-M in Kerala in recent times yet the two groups were never called as anti-national.

The PFI reportedly has presence in 23 states and is strongest in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

-PTI