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PFI ban: 10 reasons why govt tightened the noose on radical outfit

PFI ban: Over 250 PFI workers were arrested on two rounds of raids in which several incriminating documents were seized by the NIA and other security agencies.

Nivedita Dash Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: September 28, 2022 14:24 IST
PFI protest
Image Source : PTI PFI protest

PFI ban: After a series of raids in several states across the country and the arrest of a number of their activists, the Home Ministry on Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) for five years. The government also banned several of PFI's associated groups for their alleged terror links. 

Over 250 PFI workers were arrested on two rounds of raids in which several incriminating documents were seized by the NIA and other security agencies. 

Why PFI was banned: 10 top reasons

The Popular Front of India/PFI had been one of the most potent radical Muslim outfit and its members had been involved in numerous cases of violence, crime, unlawful activities and terrorism. The PFI and its various front organisations had a presence in over 17 states in the country. The PFI encouraged its cadres to undertake actions that were prejudicial to the maintenance of peace and harmony between different religious groups, and disrupted secular fabric of the country.  Hence, it is banned under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. 

Over 1300 criminal cases had been registered by Police and NIA against cadres of PFI and its front organisations in different states. Some of these cases were also registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act/UAPA, the Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act and other heinous sections of IPC.

India Tv - PFI ban

Image Source : INDIA TVTwo Lowrance LHR-80 recovered from the residence of Barakathulla (SDPI Ramnad distt President), Tamil Nadu.

There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Terrorist Groups. Some activists of PFI, particularly from Kerala, had joined ISIS and had participated in terror activities in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of these Indian ISIS terrorists were also killed in action by Security Forces/SFs in these conflict theatres.

Some PFI elements associated with ISIS had been arrested by NIA and State Police. Further, PFI had linkages with Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh/JMB. Some of these terrorist elements had been similarly arrested by NIA and State Police Forces. 

In Kerala, explosives and Jihadi literature were recovered from Padam forest area (district Kollam) in June 2021. The forest area was being used by PFI as a military training site.

India Tv - PFI ban

Image Source : INDIA TVCash recovered from the residence of Shahid Khan, PFI leader Bengaluru

Kerala Police had recovered (April, 2013) arms and explosive materials from arms training site in Narath (district Kannur). The case was investigated by NIA and 41 PFI cadres were convicted by the Court in 2016. The PFI covertly organised training exercises and military like drills where participants were trained to use force against certain religious groups, which were perceived by the outfit as enemies of Islam.


The PFI, which had always claimed to be a social organisation, was found involved in murder (July 26) of Praveen Nettaru (a Hindu activist) in Bellare town (district Dakshina Kannada) in Karnataka. Praveen Nettaru was hacked to death by bike-borne assailants. Ten accused arrested, so far, were all members of the PFI. The investigation by local police revealed a chilling tale of cold-blooded murder by PFI cadres. The murder was planned by the PFI and members of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI, political front of PFI)

PFI had been receiving funds from dubious channels from within the country and abroad. The PFI and its affiliates maintained large number of bank accounts and received money through its well-wishers/financers based in India and abroad. 

Over 100 bank accounts of PFI not matching with financial profile of account holders have come to the notice of agencies.  As a result, the registration status of PFI under section 12A & 12 AA of IT Act was withdrawn.  

A clandestine physical training centre in Telangana revealed the violent nature of the PFI. One PFI Physical education instructor, Abdul Khader, had trained more than 200 PFI cadres in his martial art training centre in Nizamabad. 

India Tv - PFI ban

Image Source : INDIA TVPE materials obtained from Irfan Milli’s house, State President, PFI Maharashtra

One   Sanjith, a RSS worker in Kerala, was murdered by cadres of PFI on November 15, 2021. In Tamil Nadu, the PFI cadres had killed V Ramalingam (a Hindu leader) for challenging its Dawah activities in 2019. Other prominent cases of murder of pro-Hindu leaders by the cadres of the outfit included Nandu (Kerala, 2021), Abhimanyu (Kerala, 2018), Bibin (Kerala, 2017), Sharath (Karnataka, 2017), R Rudresh (Karnataka, 2016), Praveen Poojari (Karnataka, 2016) and Sasi Kumar (Tamil Nadu, 2016). PFI cadres had also brutally chopped hand of one TJ Joseph (a Professor) for alleged blasphemy in 2010. Some AQ and ISIS training videos, depicting gruesome murders, had also been recovered from the PFI cadre accused in this case. Such activities created fear and feeling of terror among members of other religious communities, besides the public. 

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