Popular Front of India has held nationwide protest demonstrations against the ban imposed by the BJP government of Jharkhand
NEW DELHI: Eminent leaders of the Muslim community have strongly condemned the ban imposed by the BJP government of Jharkhand on the Popular Front of India (PFI). In a joint statement, they termed the ban as “unjust” and demanded its withdrawal.
Leaders of important Muslim organisations and leading figures of the Muslim community considered the ban tantamount to murdering democracy.
“PFI is a nationwide welfare and social organisation offering educational and social services all over the country and helping victims within the limits of the Indian Constitution and laws. It has been active in rehabilitation work from Tsunami victims of Port Blair to the earthquake victims of Kashmir,” the leaders said.
PFI has been active in rehabilitation work in Jharkhand in addition to offering legal help to victims of mob lynching there. In a statement, the organisation alleged that the state BJP government imposed ban on it for helping the lynching victims.
Earlier, allegations by the Central Government of PFI’s relations with ISIS were proved wrong. The apex court has rejected the allegations of PFI’s indulging in the so-called “Love Jihad”. Chief Ministers of Kerala and Karnataka have clarified that there are no proofs to support a ban on PFI.
“In these circumstances, blaming of PFI by state and Central Governments is undemocratic and betray that governments in states and Centre do not tolerate any ideology opposing theirs and try to crush such ideology on every level, which is injurious to democracy and supremacy of Constitution in the country,” said the Muslim leaders and demanded that the ban on PFI in Jharkhand should be withdrawn forthwith.
The joint statement was issued by Maulana Wali Rahmani, General Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Head of Imarat-e Shariah Bihar, Jharkhand & Orissa; Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind; Maulana Muhammad Sajjad Nomani, spokesperson of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board; Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmad, Shahi Imam & Khateeb, Fatehpuri Masjid, Delhi; Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, MP; Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, President, Ittehad-e Millat Council; Prof. Akhtarul Wasey, President, Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur; Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, Chairman, Zakat Foundation of India; Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission & former President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat; and Dr Tasleem Rehmani, President, Muslim Political Council of India.
In a separate statement, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has also opposed and expressed deep concern on the ban on PFI.
Muhammad Salim Engineer, Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said: “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind disturbed by reports of the Jharkhand government banning the activities of PFI under section 16 of the CLA Act, 1908. We are highly concerned and condemn this culture of banning organizations. It is a clear violation of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution and goes against the democratic ethos and basic civil liberties’’.
“It is the duty of the police and administration to maintain law and order in the state. If the government is seeking action against any individual or organization for any alleged violations of law, then it must be proved in the court of law. However to ban an entire organization is totally unjustified and undemocratic,’’ he said.
In another statement, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has also opposed the ban.
Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama while criticizing the ban imposed on Popular Front of India in Jharkhand, said that allegation of being terrorist was not a matter of joke.
“The country stands united in fight against menace of terrorism. Therefore it is an onerous responsibility of governments to take this issue with due care and sensitivity and adopt tough stance on terrorism. But in this regard, they should refrain from steps which smack of partisan or vindictive action against members of any particular religion, caste and creed etc as it will lead to develop sense of victimhood among the marginalized section,” he said.
Maulana Madani pointed out that these days Jharkhand witnessed numerous incidents of mob lynching in the name of cow-protection. Besides that, many organizations related to the majority community have been found involved in inflaming communal passion by disseminating hateful speech against members of minority community. ‘But the Raghubar Das led Jharkhand government has not taken any action against them whereas this social and welfare organization has been brought equal to terrorist outfits without any hard evidence.”
Maulana Madani stressed that the common citizens of the country should be made aware of concrete facts that compelled government to take such action. “Otherwise such kind of ban shall be termed as democratic, unconstitutional and illegal. Moreover it will raise serious question mark behind the intention of the government,” he said.
In the context of the ban, Popular Front’s General Secretary M. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, through a memorandum, has sought immediate intervention of President of India and Governor of Jharkhand to get the undemocratic and unethical ban lifted forthwith.
Meanwhile, PFI has organized protest demonstrations in different parts of the country against the ban, including Manipur, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.