PATNA: After banning Popular Front of India (PFI) for alleged anti-national activities and links with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, the Jharkhand government has lodged an FIR against 12 leaders of the outfit and 60 of its unidentified cadres, police said on Tuesday.
The FIR, lodged at Muffasil police station in the eastern Pakur district, has named PFI state general secretary Abdul Badud, state unit secretary Shamim Akhtar, Pakur district secretary Abdul Hanan and state unit member Habibur Rahman.
The state government had imposed a ban on the organisation under Section 16 of the Criminal Amendment Act, 1908 on February 21, alleging that PFI was engaged in spreading anarchy in the state and that it had links with terrorist outfits based in Pakistan. The ban came after the state government’s law department approved a recommendation from the home department.
A day after the ban, police had raided PFI’s office and training centre in Pakur and seized a number of computers, CDs, banners, stamps and other documents, said a police official.
PFI, which works in cooperation with several human rights organisations, claims to be engaged in activism to curb human rights violations in the country and empower people by promoting justice, freedom and security. However, it has lately been labeled by various sections as an extremist and militant Islamic fundamentalist organisation.
PFI has protested against the ban and fears similar action could be taken by other state governments to suppress efforts to seek justice against human rights violations. A press statement issued by PFI after its central secretariat meeting in Mysore said: “Ever since the declaration of the organisation in the state in 2015, our members have stood in the forefront of fight against human rights violations such as hate speeches, lynching incidents and police atrocities.”