Popular Front disbanded, members asked to cease activities through FB post

PFI activists hold protest in Kochi. Photo: Evsrikumar Viswanathan/Manorama

Kollam: Following the ban on the organisation, the Popular Front of India (PFI) has disbanded. The organisation has asked all its members to cease operation.

PFI state general secretary Abdul Sattar, who was arrested earlier in the day, announced this through the Facebook page of Popular Front. "We accept the Central Government's decision and request all members to stop their activities," he said.

Meanwhile, a team of NIA sleuths and Kerala Police arrested Sattar from his office in Karunagappally Puthiyakavu on Wednesday. Sattar, who was out of the district, returned to Karunya Centre in Karunagapally this morning.

In the morning, Abdul Sattar said PFI would initiate legal action against the Central Government's ban. Sattar was arrested soon after he told the media that he would meet with the lawyers to take legal action.

The PFI Facebook post that announced the disbanding:
"The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notification regarding the banning of the Popular Front of India. Popular Front has been functioning with a clear vision for the socio-economic and cultural empowerment of the underprivileged, downtrodden, and marginalised sections of society for the past three decades. This is because we believe in an egalitarian society where all Indian citizens enjoy equal freedom, justice, and security.

But like all law-abiding citizens of our great country, the organisation accepts the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Popular Front of India hereby informs all its former members and the general public that it has been disbanded.

All ex-members of the Popular Front of India are requested to cease their activities.”

The government on Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India and several of its associates under a stringent anti-terror law, accusing them of having "links" with global terror groups like ISIS.

Besides PFI, the organisations which were also declared banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) include Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.

More than 150 people allegedly linked with PFI were detained or arrested in raids across seven states on Tuesday, five days after a similar pan-India crackdown against the 16-year-old group had led to the arrest of over a hundred of its activities and seizure of several dozen properties.

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