NEW DELHI – Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) and Student Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) have opposed the ban imposed on the Popular Front of India (PFI) calling it anti-democratic.
In a statement to the media on Wednesday, the President Syed Sadatullah Husaini said, “Jamaat-e-Islami Hind expresses disagreement over the government’s decision to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates. Banning an organisation is neither a solution nor does it suit a democratic society. The culture of banning the organisations is in itself a clear violation of the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution and goes against the democratic spirit and basic civil liberties”.
He further said “people may have differences with these organisations, their policies and the rhetoric. We have also always opposed them on several counts but that is not the reason to ban an organisation and harass its cadres. It is the duty of the police and administration to maintain law and order in the country. If any individual breaks the law or commits any crime the individual can be prosecuted and dealt as per the provisions of law. The courts will decide about allegations against them, where those individuals will also have a chance to prove their innocence. However, to ban an entire organization on flimsy and unsubstantiated grounds, is unjustified and undemocratic”.
Husaini called the ban “discriminatory, biased and selective” by pointing out government inaction against the Hindutva groups for calling for violence.
“Recently, we have witnessed many fringe and radical groups openly indulging in hate-mongering and calling for violence. These groups are operating with impunity and no action is being taken against them whatsoever. Hence, the ban appears selective, discriminatory, and biased. It will increase the trust deficit between people and the government and send a wrong message to the country. We demand that the ban be revoked at the earliest,” he said.
SIO President Salman Ahmad desribed the ban “a threat to freedom of all citizens”.
“The ban on PFI is a worrying development for all citizens and constitutes a threat to democracy and freedom. We may have many differences with PFI, but the response to disagreement cannot be prohibition. The way this ban has been preceded by raids and detention of hundreds of activists and common people without any evidence of wrongdoing, makes us fear that this is another instance of selective criminalisation of those who try to represent the voice of marginalised groups. We appeal to all those who value their freedom to come forward and make sure this ban does not become another excuse for the unjust incarceration of innocent people across the country,” he said.