Noting that the government has successfully barred the Popular Front of India (PFI) from rising above vote-bank politics, Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the organization promoted “radicalism and religious bigotry” and attempted to prepare “raw material for terrorism,” and that any delay in action would not have been in the national interest.
Shah also went after Congress, claiming that the party “tried to close cases” against PFI members that were halted by the courts.
During a visit to poll-bound Karnataka, Shah took aim at the Congress over the PFI issue. Following this, the Union Home Minister was chastised by Congress for attempting to equate Congress with PFI.
“We successfully banned PFI… PFI encouraged extremism and religious bigotry. In some ways, they were attempting to prepare raw materials for terrorism. “So many documents have been discovered that show that their activities were detrimental to the country’s unity and integrity,” Amit Shah told ANI in an exclusive interview.
When asked about allegations that there was no distinction between PFI and Congress, Shah stated that he had not stated that Congress and PFI were the same entity.
“I stated that there were various types of cases against the PFI cadre. The Congress government attempted to close the cases, but the court stopped them. What is there to be upset about? You should not have done it, and if you do, you will have to listen… “We decided to ban it in order to rise above vote-bank politics,” he emphasised.
In response to a question, the Home Minister stated that PFI was once a problem in South Karnataka and Kerala.
“When we decided to ban it, PFI had started stretching its activities to the other parts of the country and had spread itself to a certain extent. The agencies were informed that delaying the ban or giving the benefit of the doubt would be detrimental. So we made a decision and prohibited PFI entirely. “There has been no reaction from either side in society,” Shah said.
The government had in September last year banned PFI and its associates for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for “terror links”.
Amit Shah targeted the Congress during his visit to Karnataka last week, accusing it of releasing PFI members.
“Congress had released 1700 members of the PFI, while the BJP government under PM Modi’s leadership banned and shut it permanently. “The Congress party strengthens anti-national elements, and it can never protect Karnataka,” Shah said during a visit to the poll-bound state’s coastal region.
Along with PFI, the government had prohibited its fronts, including Rehab India Foundation (RIF). Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation, and Kerala Rehab Foundation.
The notification said that the ban has been imposed against PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts for “indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the potential of disturbing public peace and communal harmony of the country.
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