By Muslim Mirror News,
Calicut: Welcoming the Jharkhand High Court judgment quashing the ban on Popular Front of India imposed by the BJP-led government in this tribal-dominated state, Front leadership on Tuesday said there should be an end to “undemocratic and repressive moves” against the organization.
Addressing a press conference here for the first time after the jugdement, Front leadership said Jharkhand High Court verdict was a significant judgment which has struck down the Jharkhand state government order banning the activities of Popular Front of India in the state, declaring the it as “arbitrary, unreasonable and against the sanctity of law”.
The court has also quashed all the cases related to the ban, they added.
In fact the BJP government levelled serious allegations against a people’s movement including terror links but it had failed produce any evidence before the court, said E Abubacker, president PFI. These were the nefarious methods of the Jharkhand government, he alleged.
The judgment cannot be viewed as something that merely concerns Popular Front of India. Rather, it must go on record as an important judicial intervention to protect the constitutional rights of freedom of expression and freedom of association.
He pointed out that Popular Front was not the first organization banned in the state. A number of organizations including trade unions have been banned by the state government by misusing Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act without any reasonable grounds, most of the time simply because they dared to question the right wing, anti-people, neoliberal agenda of the government.
Therefore the judgment is also a clear warning against the increasing attempt on the part of the central and state governments to restrict and repress voices of dissent. He added.
This is first time in Jharkhand that an organization legally overcomes the state repression by means of ban. The unique victory of legal battle led by Popular Front against Jharkhand state government is indeed a source of encouragement to all ongoing democratic struggles for justice. Surely this will strengthen people’s faith in judiciary.
We thank all individuals, social and human rights groups and community organisations all over India who stood with us against the ban, he said.
He warned that there are still efforts doing rounds to malign and disturb the organization in the country. We but would like to tell the authorities and a section of media engaged in it, that Popular Front has come out clearing its name before court of law, he said.
In the light of this judgment, we demand central and state governments to end all repressive and undemocratic moves against Popular Front, he said.