NEW DELHI – Days after the NIA and the ED raided several locations linked to the Popular Front of India (PFI) across the country, the Union Home Ministry is planning to ban the Muslim group on the basis of the evidences gathered by the investigating agencies, sources said.
However, before imposing the ban, the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) want to make full preparations, so that if the ban is challenged, then their side is not weakened.
In the raids conducted in 15 states of the country on September 22, the investigating agencies claimed to have found “strong evidence” of PFI’s involvement in the alleged terrorist activities, based on which, it can soon be banned.
Soon after the raid, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also held a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the NIA Chief. In this, instructions have been issued to review the facts gathered against PFI and take further action.
According to sources, the MHA is also taking legal advice before banning PFI, so that when the party concerned in this matter approaches court, the government remains ready with its move. This is also being done because the central government had to withdraw the ban on SIMI in 2008. However, later it was again banned after the Supreme Court order.
This time, the government donesn’t seem to be in a hurry and leave any stone unturned. And that’s why, it is making its case strong, besides weighing all the legal asepcts before imposing ban on PFI.
According to the information, different agencies were engaged in gathering strong evidence against PFI for many years as instructions were given by the MHA that no link of PFI should be left out. While the NIA’s investigation was focussed on the “illegal activities” of the criminal organisation, the ED has now been completely successful in tracing the source of their finances.
A source close to the ED said that during the investigation, “suspicious transactions” of about Rs 60 crore have been detected in the bank accounts of PFI. It has also been learnt that money was being sent to PFI through hawala. For this, bank accounts of labourers working in Gulf countries were used to send money to India.