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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, September 28: The Popular Front of India (PFI) is widely documented to have taken off after the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), with the amalgamation of several groups in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

While the Centre on Wednesday announced that the PFI stands banned after the cadre of the group was found involved in a number of gruesome murders in three states, which constituted its main catchment area, even while the outfit has presence across the country, including the national capital.

By Wednesday evening the PFI had dissolved all its wings. The ban mandated that the people who are associated with the PFI and its various wings immediately dissociate or face two years of jail terms.

Asaduddin Owaisi, the Lok Sabha MP, was the lone voice who stated that the ban on the PFI could not be supported.

Congress, however, made it clear that the party doesn’t support radical activities by the members of the majority or minority communities.

The announcement of the ban came after a few days of the nationwide raids by the National Investigative Agency (NIA), which claimed to have found incriminating evidences against the group. Some of the mainstream newspapers in their respective Editorials had recently sought to argue that the PFI poses political challenge since it has grown in strength only in the wake of the political marginalization of the Muslims in the recent years.

While there may be some merits that the Muslims have lesser representations in the elected bodies, there can be no justification for indulging in anti-national activities, and carrying out political murders and also of the civilians in the name of religion, as alleged in the notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

But more pertinent is the lack of the ability of the law enforcement agencies, particularly the state police, in nixing in the bud such outfits who carry out murders and foster links with international terror organisations. The Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana Police forces will need to brainstorm that the cost of looking away is too heavy, for an outfit with links with the likes of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and its breakaway factions in Afghanistan are threat to humanity, including the Muslims in India.

Now that the Centre has banned the PFI, it will be incumbent upon the NIA to wrap up its investigations and haul up the masterminds who carried out the gruesome murders as mentioned in the MHA notification, besides unravelling the full details of the linkages with the international terror outfits, with judicial actions against the culprits.

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