Govt Bans PFI for 5 Years: Security Tightened at Shaheen Bagh, Drones Deployed

Date:

Early morning on Wednesday, the PFI and its 'associates or affiliates' were banned by the central government for a period of five years.

NEW DELHI — There was a heavy police presence outside the office of Popular Front of India (PFI) in the Shaheen Bagh area of the national capital on Wednesday.

Notably, the Centre on Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates and affiliates for a period of five years in the wake of nationwide raids against the organisation by law enforcement agencies.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government hereby declares the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates or 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 Rehab Foundation, Kerala as an ‘unlawful association’,” read a notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

“Whereas, the Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the said Act, the Central government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette,” it added.

The affiliates reportedly include Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala as an “unlawful association”.

The Delhi Police, which is extra-vigilant to prevent any untoward situation that may arise due to the Centre’s action, is even using “drones” to keep an eye over the Shaheen Bagh area. The police could also be seen patrolling the streets just next to the PFI office.

Ten days ago, the police had already imposed section 144 in the entire Jamia Nagar area under which unlawful assembly of four or more people is prohibited.

Legal Routes Available for PFI

Following the ban, the Popular Front of India can approach the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) Tribunal challenging the ban imposed on it by the Central government.

The Central government will soon come with a notification appointing the judge who will head the Tribunal, according to media reports. — IANS (Inputs added)

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Photo: Police patrol Shaheen Bagh streets on Wednesday. — IANS

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