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Ban on PFI has been imposed prematurely, with no legal procedure being undertaken

Campaign Against State Repression* statement demanding lifting ban on PFI and other organizations as well as release of all political prisoners:
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It is a year since the Popular Front of India (PFI) was banned by the Indian government for an initial period of five years with the allegation that the PFI was engaged in “subversive activities” and “propagating anti-national sentiments and radicalizing a particular section of society.” Since then, many other organizations such as Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala have also been banned. The PFI has functioned as a democratic organization that aims to work towards an egalitarian society, particularly combatting the oppressions and exploitations of Dalits, Adivasis and all other minority groups in India.
The arguments presented by Hindutva groups and government-associated persons in support of this ban are dubious, particularly the claim that PFI is associated with organizations like ISIS even though PFI has publicly condemned ISIS multiple times in the past. There has been a significant amount of pushback against PFI’s participation in democratic dissent, particularly the 2020 anti-CAA-NRC movement as well as the anti-hijab ban movement in Karnataka. While the Indian government has claimed that PFI is associated with “terror activities,” the ban on the organization has been imposed prematurely, with no legal procedure being undertaken to prove the truth of this claims. The Indian state has also not unleashed the National Investigation Agency on Hindutva groups, some of which have even released manifestoes of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra, but have been attacking organizations like PFI and various other democratic rights organizations from all parts of the country where the oppressed and exploited are engaged in struggles, such as in Niyamgiri, Mali Parbat and Kaimur. Of note is that PFI has strongly asserted its presence in defending the democratic rights of various minorities, including Muslims in India who have borne the brutalities of the violence of Brahmanical Hindutva fascism. The attacks on democratic rights by Hindutva forces in India have consequently put all forces who aim to preserve such rights into targets for the Indian state and the ban on PFI is a consequence of this tide in Indian politics.
Fake charges against PFI have started to unravel, with a recent case in Kerala coming to light this month where an Indian army soldier claimed he was attacked by PFI members in a forest, only for the charge to be found as entirely fabricated. In another incident in Kerala, the police arrested High Court lawyer Mohammad Mubarak, claiming he was a martial arts instructor and training a “hit squad” for PFI cadre. 15 other such persons had their houses raided by the NIA in a bid to capture these trainers. Mubarak’s act of imparting physical training has been taken as an act aggression against the country, but ironically, no such action has ever been considered against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which regularly imparts physical training in its country-wide “shakhas.” Meanwhile just as recently as the pogrom in Nuh, Gau-Rakshaks and Anti-Romeo squads of the Hindutva forces have been given complete impunity by the BJP government to mete out their violence. On 28th September of last year itself, 1400 cases had been registered against the leaders of PFI and hundreds of PFI cadre and leadership have been imprisoned under the draconian UAPA law as part of this undemocratic suppression of PFI. The Hindutva agenda behind this ban is apparent and Campaign Against State Repression strongly condemns these arbitrary bans imposed by the Indian government on democratic rights organizations as well as the prolonged incarceration of the political prisoners and leaders of PFI.
CASR demands the ban on PFI be immediately lifted and the release of all political prisoners.
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*AIRSO,AISA, APCR,BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, DISSC, DSU, Fraternity ,IAPL, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA,Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, , Morcha Patrika, NAPM, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad,Smajwadi lok manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Mnach, United Against Hate, WSS,Y4S)

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