Helped people build resilience against ISIS propaganda: Banned PFI tells UAPA tribunal


By Muslim Mirror News

The Popular Front of India (PFI), which was banned last year, testified before a UAPA tribunal that it has been “organizing public campaigns to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to help people build resilience against the ISIS propaganda.”

The PFI and other affiliated organisations are still prohibited from operating, according to a UAPA tribunal’s ruling dated March 21. Due to its alleged connections to international terrorist organisations like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Jamaat ul Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had declared PFI to be an “unlawful association.”

In its defence, the PFI claimed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was looking into a 2016 case involving an ISIS recruit, provided digital evidence to the defence lawyer showing “that the accused had plotted conspiracies against PFI leaders as they were against ISIS.”

In the comments, which were included in the UAPA tribunal order, it was stated that “The PFI had expressed anguish and concern against killings taking place every day in the name of Islamic State in its National General Assembly held on January 24, 2016.”

Anis Ahmed, a PFI office-holder presently detained in Delhi’s Tihar jail, testified that he actively engaged in the opposition to ISIS propaganda. He identified himself as a software expert and charged that the government had improperly used investigation agencies to pursue PFI members while receiving support from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

According to him, the PFI does not have a process for recording memberships, and no member receipts or acknowledgements are given.

“Membership register was maintained at the local unit level. PFI does not issue any membership I-card,” Ahmed said during cross-examination.

He also refuted claims that the PFI is an affiliate or front for the other eight organisations that have been banned, including the Campus Front of India (CFI), Empower India Foundation (EIF), Rehab Foundation, Kerala, Rehab India Foundation, Junior Front, All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO), and National Women’s Front (NWF).

The tribunal was told by the AIIC that it was established in 2012 and was not associated with the PFI. It stated that the AIIC supports Imams and other officials to seek both higher education and Islamic studies.

It also stated that it “had opposed the emergence of ISIS” and that “extremism knows no religious or national boundaries.”


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