New Delhi: One organization whose name comes up again and again in riots, violence, and murders in different parts of the country, the same organization once again came into controversy and this time it was banned. The name of this organization is Popular Front of India ie PFI. The biggest action ever on PFI has been seen. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the premises of this organization in many states of the country and arrested hundreds of people. The PFI has a long history of controversies, and its name has been coming from murder to riots.
Whenever there was a big incident from North to South India, the name PFI would first come to the fore. From CAA Protest in Delhi, Shaheen Bagh violence, Jahangirpuri violence to Kanpur violence in recent months, Karauli violence in Rajasthan, violence in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh, and violence in Bengaluru as well as many violence-murders across the country including the murder of BJP leader. The name of this controversial organization has come to the fore.
Before knowing when PFI came into controversies, before that, let us know what it is, where its foundation was laid and what is its work.
Popular Front of India (PFI)
The Popular Front of India was formed on 22 November 2006 by the amalgamation of three Muslim organizations. Among them came the National Democratic Front of Kerala, Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and Manita Neeti Pasarai of Tamil Nadu. PFI describes itself as a non-profit organization. Initially the headquarter of PFI was in Kozhikode, Kerala but later it was shifted to Delhi. The president of PFI is OMA Abdul Salam and EM Abdul Rahiman is its vice-president. Every year on August 15, this organization organizes the Freedom Parade, but in 2013, the Kerala government banned the parade. There is also a uniform of PFI, which has stars and emblems like the police.
At the time of the formation of PFI, members of the banned terrorist organization Students Islamic Movement of India were involved in PFI. The then PFI president Abdul Rehman was once the national secretary of SIMI and PFI state secretary Abdul Hameed had also been the secretary of SIMI. In addition, the founding members of the PFI included EM Rahiman, general secretary of SIMI, E Abubakar, president of the SIMI unit in Kerala, and Professor P Koya.
SIMI was formed in April 1977 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. PFI describes itself as a neo-social organization taking steps for justice, freedom, and security of the people. The organization advocates for Muslim reservations. In 2012, the PFI held a protest against the use of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The organization said that the law is being used to detain innocent people.
This is what happened during the formation of PFI. Now let’s come to the real issue which is the actions of this organization. Whenever the name PFI has come up, the controversy must have been associated with it. So let’s know about these controversies.
Where was the involvement of PFI
PFI activists have been involved in many terrorist activities as well as in the killings of many people. These include Sanjeet (Kerala, November 2021), V. Ramalingam, (Tamil Nadu, 2019), Nandu, (Kerala, 2021), Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018), Bibin (Kerala, 2017), Sharath (Karnataka, 2017), R. . Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016), Praveen Pujari (Karnataka, 2016), Shashi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016) and Praveen Nettaru (Karnataka, 2022) persons are involved. These killings have been carried out by PFI workers. The work of this organization was only to disturb public peace and to create fear of terror in the minds of the people.
Another name controversy of PFI
It would not be wrong if PFI is called another name for the dispute. The workers of this organization have been accused of having connections with terrorist organizations and even murders.
In 2012, the Kerala government had told the High Court that PFI has a direct connection with 27 murder cases. Most of these cases were related to the killing of RSS and CPM workers. The Kerala government had told the High Court that PFI is nothing but a new form of the banned organization Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
There have also been allegations of PFI workers having links with terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and the Taliban. However, PFI claims itself to be an organization fighting for the cause of Dalits and Muslims. In the year 2010, there were allegations of connection with this organization SIMI.
The governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Gujarat have already demanded to ban this organization.
In 2014, the Kerala government told the High Court that PDF and PFI activists were involved in 27 communal murders, 86 attempt to murder cases, and 106 communal cases registered in the state. A carpenter named Abid Pasha was arrested in six cases of murder. He had links with PFI.
In November 2017, the Kerala Police identified 6 members of the PFI, who had joined the dreaded terror outfit Islamic State and may have gone to Syria using fake passports.
PMK member Ramalingam was murdered in February 2019 after an argument with some Muslims about conversion activities, for which a member of the PFI was arrested. In August 2019, charges were framed against 18 members of PFI in the case.
In 2017, India Today conducted a sting operation on PFI founder member Ahmed Sharif, in which he admitted to receiving funds from the Middle East countries through the hawala channel and said that not only India, but the whole world wants to be Islamic.
The name of the organization came in the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2020. The PFI was accused of funding the protests that took place across the country. The ‘Gajwa-e-Hind’ conspiracy was busted in Phulwari Sharif, Patna.
On July 4 this year, an FIR was registered against 25 people associated with PFI at Nizamabad police station in Telangana. It was told in the FIR that the accused were involved in violent-terrorist activities and were promoting violence in society on the basis of religion. For this, the accused were organizing training camps. In the name of karate training, people were being taught to use weapons.
In the same year, the name of PFI had cropped up in the Karnataka Hijab controversy and the murder of BJP youth leader Pravin Netaru in the state.
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