NEW DELHI –– As a part of a series of steps to crack down on the mass protests against CAA and NRC, the Uttar Pradesh government is planning action against a prominent human rights organisation, the Popular Front of India. While the nature of the action is not clear yet, there are indications the PFI might be put through a ban.
Some top officials admit, but vaguely, that the state government was keeping a close watch on PFI which has lately come up in the state. Awanish Awasthi, additional chief secretary (home) said: “I will not be able to say anything other than that the government is taking some precautionary measures.”
Since Thursday, at least 18 people have been killed during police action on protesters in the state ruled by the BJP. The government alleges that the protesters have indulged in rioting and damaged public property. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered that the property of the ‘rioters’ be seized and sealed. There have been reports of police sealing the locks of shops belonging to Muslims in some towns in western Uttar Pradesh
The PFI is keeping a close watch of the police move in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The authorities allege that the organisation played a major role in organising the protests. In Meerut, cops arrested two protesters on the charges of violence. During investigation, police said both the accused were active members of the PFI. However, the PFI has dismissed the allegations.
The organisation was already under the radar of the state government run by the rightwing BJP. When asked about the possible ban on PFI, a member of the group said, “First, the government should produce evidence against us.”
With inputs from IANS