Campus Front of India, a PFI affiliate, will challenge federal ban in court
The Campus Front of India (CFI), the student wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), on Wednesday announced it will legally challenge the federal ban on PFI and eight other affiliated organizations, including PFI, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist government earlier in the day.
Calling the ban “undemocratic and anti-constitutional,” the CFI said it had “been working for over a decade among students across the country with a vision of building socially concerned and responsible youth with [a] secular and democratic spirit. We have succeeded in achieving it to an extent. Many educated youth who are part of the organisation have now been active in various spheres of social activities.”
The CFI rejected the allegations that the PFI and the CFI were connected with terrorism as baseless and fabricated.
The ban under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) would last five years. The ban extends to Rehab India Foundation, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
In a separate announcement made on Facebook, a senior PFI leader said the organization has been disbanded following the ban. PFI’s Kerala general secretary Abdul Sattar was arrested shortly after posting that statement. He wrote: “As law-abiding citizens of the country, the organization accepts the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs ( MHA).”
PFI ban cannot be supported, says prominent Muslim parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi
India’s most prominent Muslim member of Parliament, Asaduddin Owaisi, has said he opposed the ban on the PFI. “While I have always opposed PFI’s approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported,” Owaisi wrote on Twitter.
“Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organization itself must be banned. SC has also held that mere association with an organization is not enough to convict someone,” he wrote, quoting the Supreme Court.
“But a draconian ban of this kind is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. The way India’s electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under India’s black law, UAPA.
“Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA & will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the constitution.
“How come PFI is banned but organisations associated with convicts of Khaja Ajmeri bomb blasts aren’t? Why has govt not banned right wing majoritarian organizations?” he wrote on Twitter.
Lalu Prasad Yadav demands ban on RSS, says federal government targets Muslim groups
Veteran Indian politician and long-time critic of Hindu nationalism, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Wednesday demanded a ban on the Nazi-inspired paramilitary Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), saying the “Hindu extremist organisation” deserved to be banned.
“They keep raising the bogey of PFI. It is the RSS, which is all about Hindu extremism (‘kattarpanth’), which deserves to be banned first,” said former chief minister of Bihar state. Yadav alleged the government was targeting Muslim organisations.
“First of all, ban the RSS, it is a worse organization than that. If you get anything, then take action,” he said. “Efforts are being made to spread bigotry. Such a government has to be overthrown.”
Former cop Sreekumar who exposed Modi’s complicity in anti-Muslim violence gets bail
B. Sreekumar, the former director general of the Gujarat Police, was granted bail on Wednesday by the Gujarat High Court three months after arrest on bogus charges of fabricating evidence against Modi.
For years, Sreekumar has exposed Modi’s complicity in the pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat state in 2002 in which hundreds of Muslim men, women and children were slaughtered by Hindu mobs encouraged and abetted by the then state government. Modi was the state chief minister at the time.
Sreekumar’s arrest came after three Supreme Court judges made absolutely unwarranted comments about his role in the allegations against Modi and suggested that he be investigated. The judges offered no evidence to back their false claim.