Yogi government requests Centre to ban PFI
New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) : The Uttar Pradesh government has requested the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI), an organisation that is said to have played a key role in triggering violence during the recent anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the state. A written communication made to the MHA a day after Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) O. P. Singh sent a letter to the state home department seeking a ban on the PFI. Sources said that the MHA has received the Uttar Pradesh government’s request letter and is likely to consult legal as well as other concerned departments before imposing a ban on the organisation.
The Ministry is also likely to take inputs from the intelligence and other central government agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The Uttar Pradesh DGP told IANS that the state police force has arrested as many as 23 PFI activists from various violence-hit areas and that made it clear as to who the primary instigator was. “We have got significant information from the arrested PFI members, but cannot disclose it at this point in time.” This marks the beginning of the process for the ban on the controversial organisation. 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, said Maurya.”