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India bans Muslim organisation after massive crackdown

India bans officials have declared Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates to be an “unlawful association” with immediate effective date, banning them for five years.

The authorities arrested a number of people from the Muslim group on Tuesday, and at the beginning of this month and accused of committing violence and other anti-national actions.

The PFI has condemned the ongoing series of arrests and raids as a form of harassment and also held protests on the streets.

“This is nothing but prevention of the right to democratic protests against the central government’s witch-hunt targeting PFI and is quite natural and expected under this autocratic system,” PFI announced via Twitter after what it termed “massive arrests”.

Police in India’s biggest State of Uttar Pradesh said they detained 57 individuals linked to PFI. PFI on Tuesday in connection with “violent acts conducted by them and their rising anti-national activities across the country”.

Similar detentions were recorded in the state of Assam as its chief minister informed reporters on the day the state’s chief minister requested an end to the PFI.

Muslim marginalisation

In the last month in the month of April, in the last month of the year, federal National Investigation Agency raided locations in the states of Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and arrested several PFI members. The PFI accused that they were organising camps for training for “commit terrorist acts” or participating with “anti-national activities”.

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Prime Narendra Modi’s Right-Wing Party was accused by rights organizations as well as foreign governments of promoting discriminatory policies against India’s 200 million-strong Muslim minority since it came to power in 2014.

Extremist Hindu groups have long fought for the banning of PFI and has repeatedly denied that of being an extremist organization.

However, a number participants have also been accused of crimes since the group’s inception about 15 years ago.

Thirteen individuals associated with the group were convicted in 2015 for snatching the hand of a lecturer who was accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad five years prior.

The group was part of the enthralling 2019 protests against the controversial law that gives citizenship to applicants from India’s neighbors however, it does not grant citizenship to Muslims.

This year the group was accused of organizing street demonstrations against a ban by the state for the wearing of hijabs for Muslim student in Karnataka.


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