PFI on IB Radar: Should Goa Be Alert?

Central Intelligence agencies have intensified their watch on Popular Front of India (PFI) considered to be the new face of the banned Muslim extremist outfit Student Islamic Movement. GoaChronicle.com brings you insight and raises a question should Goa be alert about this organisation…

Popular Front of India (PFI) is the new face of banned extremist outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and is engaged in anti-national activities, ideas spread by the organisation that began operations in the name of National Development Front (NDF) are same as that disseminated by SIMI before its ban, said Siddique Rawther, additional DGP of Intelligence, said in an affidavit submitted in Kerala High Court last week.

The Kerala High Court in the first week of August 2012, upheld the denial of permission for the Freedom Parade, a procession planned by uniformed activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI — formerly NDF) on Independence Day at important places. The State Government had earlier imposed a ban on the Freedom Parade seeing sectarian color in it.

On the basis an Intelligence report submitted before it, the court observed that the argument of the Government that Freedom parades held by the PFI could lead to communal disharmony. The PFI had sought permission to hold Freedom parades in four districts — Kollam, Kottayam, Malappuram and Kozhikode.

The Government told the court that it had refused permission for conducting the parade in Kottayam and Malappuram and that it had not received any application for conducting the programme in the other two districts.

The PFI approached the High Court when permission was denied for the progamme in Kollam and Kozhikode.

In an affidavit, the Kerala Government had on July 25 informed the High Court that the Islamist organization had connections with the banned outfit, Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and that its fundamentalist posture was a threat to the security and integrity of the nation.

The affidavit prepared on the basis of the report of the Additional DGP (Intelligence) said that several PFI activists were SIMI operatives earlier. It also said that the organization had involvement in 27 killings and that some of its workers had been accused in cases pertaining to murders of RSS and CPI(M) activists.

It also said that permission could not be given to an organization like the PFI for holding such demonstrations.

It said that application seeking permission for public programmes should be given only one week in advance and that it was not inappropriate not to entertain applications given earlier.

The PFI used to hold Freedom parades in several cities and towns on Independence Day earlier but ban was first imposed on this after the brutal attack on a college professor in Ernakulam district in 2010. In a Taliban-model attack on July 4, 2010, the right hand of Prof TJ Joseph was chopped off allegedly by activists of the PFI and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India.

Coming to SIMI. In Delhi, a special tribunal has upheld the ban imposed by the Centre on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which has links with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its front, Indian Mujahideen. Justice V K Shali of the Delhi High Court, who heads the tribunal, submitted the report to the Home Ministry confirming the ban on SIMI.

The order came after the Home Ministry on February 3, 2012 extended the ban on SIMI by two more years. SIMI was declared outlawed on September 27, 2001 when it came to light that the outfit was involved in terrorist activities. The group was having close contacts with LeT and was charged with carrying out several terror strikes along with Indian Mujahideen. Though SIMI had challenged the government’s move in various courts and also before the Special Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act tribunals on a number of occasions, it did not get any relief. The tribunal consisting of Justice Shali, a sitting Judge of Delhi High Court, was constituted to adjudicate whether there is sufficient cause for declaring the association unlawful.

According to sources in the Intelligence, the biggest headache for the Centre in recent years has been  PFI which appears to have created a nationwide net of operatives and informers for subversive activities.

The affidavit by Kerala government is a case in the point highlighting all nefarious deeds of this rabid outfit.

Even the Intelligence Bureau Chief in his meeting with State DGP’s (held at Vigyan Bhawan on 15 September 2011) had voiced his concern on the growing clout of this outfit and its source of finance. However, it was because of the clout of  senior Congress Muslim leader that the” watch out tag from PFI” had been removed

PFI presence in Goa cannot be denied. and some of its members are known to be respected civil society members. Members of the organisation have been part of several social activism causes in state whether it was against corruption in a civil society movement – GRA or on other issues like Casinos.  The apprehension of Central Intelligence agencies against this organisation cannot be over looked either. In fact, Intelligence agencies locally and at the Centre have intensified their focus on this group nationally and in Goa the Intelligence Unit is currently keeping a close watch of popular and new faces of PFI as well as frequently visited places of PFI members.



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