PFI ban: No need for undue haste, follow legal procedure, says CM

Pinarayi Vijayan
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday gave strict instructions to government officials regarding implementing the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) in the state.

He directed them to abide by legal procedures and ensure there wouldn't be any lapses. "There is no need for undue haste," said Pinarayi.

He also asked the officials to make sure no communal conflicts would erupt during the process.

The directions were given in a meeting called by the Chief Minister of district collectors and police officials.

The top brass of the state's police force will meet to decide on the next course of action.

Meanwhile, the High Court has ordered the PFI to deposit Rs 5.2 crore as compensation for the losses incurred in connection with the violent incidents during the hartal called by the front on September 23.

If the amount is not paid within two weeks, the government can proceed with the confiscation of property.

Further, the court asked the state government to make PFI state secretary A Abdul Sathar an additional accused in all cases lodged in connection with the hartal violence.

The PFI was banned for a period of five years with immediate effect under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The notification proscribing the Islamic organisation was issued by the Union Government on Wednesday. The front's affiliates were banned as well.

The ban followed the massive crackdown on the PFI by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the past week. Several leaders of the front were also detained.

Muslim organisations in Kerala had mixed reactions to the Centre banning the PFI and its affiliates. Photo: Onmanorama/Canva

The notification said PFI and its affiliates were indulging in unlawful activities, which were prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the potential to disturb public peace and communal harmony in the country and support militancy in the country.

It further said some of the PFI's founding members were the leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are proscribed organisations.

It said there had been many instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

PFI workers held for demonstration post ban

While more Popular Front activists were held in connection with the hartal day violence, few others were booked under the UAPA for demonstrating in various places post ban.

A case was registered against activists who demonstrated in Idukki on Wednesday. Activists in Malappuram who raised slogans were booked under UAPA.

Two were charged under the same Act in Thiruvananthapuram after they raised slogans in support of the now-banned front.

The incident happened at Kallambalam, near Puthusserimukku Junction. The accused, Naseem (38), of Karavaram, and Mohammed Salim (44), of Eranimukku, shouted the slogans near a flagpole, which they took down afterwards.

Around seven workers are said to have unfurled the flag. Police said all of them have been identified.

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