Ban in Jharkhand: Popular Front seeks intervention of President and NHRC

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By Muslim Mirror Desk,

New Delhi: Muslim social organization, Popular Front of India on Monday sought immediate intervention of President of India and Governor of Jharkhand into the matter of banning its unit in Jharkhand. The Front said the decision of the BJP-led Jharkhand government to put ban on its unit is “undemocratic and unethical” and it should be revoked forthwith.

In memorandum sent to the President and the Governor, front said it is social movement from the backward minority community focusing on social and educational problems of minorities as well as weaker sections of the society.

“As a social movement from the backward minority community,   Popular Front’s focus is on developmental activities like literacy, education, public health and comprehensive empowerment of the poor and the downtrodden masses, especially the Muslims.”

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, General Secretary, said PIF also sent letters to Union Home Minister, Union Law Minister urging them to intervene in the matter as it was a case of “violating fundamental rights” including minority rights.

Front national leadership has approached National Human Rights Commission, National Minority Commission, Jharkhand Human Rights Commission and Jharkhand Minority Commission through separate memorandum for revoking the Jharkhand ban since it involved violation of freedom of expression and freedom of association as against the provisions of Indian constitution, he said.

It is to recall that Jharkhand government has banned Popular Front of India, in the state under section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908.  The press release appeared in the official website of the state chief minister on February20, 2018 cites as “the reason for the ban, the alleged influence of ISIS of Syria/Iraq on some members of the Front in southern states”.   The state government cannot ban the organization under the UAPA as it requires to request for this too the Center.

After the ban, Front said it stopped activities but its members are being harassed and new cases were registered against some leaders and members alleging continuation of the activities.

Jinnah also categorically denied the accusations linking the organization with ISIS.

“The allegation of ISIS connection leveled against Popular Front by the state government is devoid of any substance.”

 He said in the very beginning, Popular Front has warned of the danger of mysterious extremist groups like ISIS luring young people through social media and by other means which well on record.

“Time and again we have educated and instructed our members not to get into their trap.  This message was conveyed to the public as well on different occasions. Popular Front activities are only within India.  The Front neither subscribes to the ideology of any other movement outside or inside the country, nor do we have any connection with any organisation in foreign lands.  Popular Front has hundreds of thousands of active members across India and none have joined ISIS.”

 He also insisted that Popular Front is a democratically and lawfully working Indian movement.

“We are a national organization which respects the Indian constitution and abides by the Indian laws”, he said.

 “The present ban on Popular Front in Jharkhand is part of the political vendetta unleashed on the organization due to its interventions with regards to human rights violations, hate speeches, mob lynching incidents, and police atrocities,” he said and underlined the fact that there is not even a single valid reason to impose ban on Popular Front of India anywhere in the country.

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