Popular Front of India banned in Jharkhand for alleged IS links

Ranchi: BJP led Jharkhand government has banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) for its alleged links to the Islamic State (IS) in an official release on Tuesday.

The release states, “The state has banned the Popular Front of India, which is active in Jharkhand, under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908. The action has been taken following a proposal from the Home Department”.

The release further said, “PFI has been most active in Pakur district. The organization was started in Kerala and its members are internally influenced by the ISIS.”

Government statement also said that some members of Popular Front of India have gone secretly to Syria from the South Indian states and (are) working for ISIS, an inquiry by Special Branch revealed.

Recently, police conducted flag march in Pakur for couple of days and removed the posters when PFI announced the Foundation Day celebration through posters. PFI was going to hold “School Chalo (lets go to school)” programme, during which school bags and kits were to be distributed, reads the poster.

Last year in July, a complaint before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate was filed by PFI, accusing Pakur SP Shailendra Prasad Barnwal and two other police officers of custodial torture of some members of the minority community after a BJP leader, Hisabi Rai, was booked for allegedly inciting “gau rakshaks” for violence.

Principal Secretary (Law) Dinesh Kumar Singh said the decision to ban PFI has been taken in the wake of several reports of their increased activity.

As the Popular Front of India claims to take up social causes of minority community, while replying to a question about the direct involvement of PFI in undesirable activities, Singh said that as per report with the government, most such activities were being carried out in the background.