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Increasing PFI’s ‘Ban Width’: Agencies to Act Against Social Media Handles, Freeze Bank Accounts | Exclusive

With the Popular Front of India (PFI) banned, the agencies now plan to act against their social media handles.

They are in the process of writing to the Ministry of Information Technology to take action against all social media handles of the PFI, said sources.

The agencies will also write to banks to freeze all accounts of the PFI and associated organisations, they added.

The Centre has also asked state governments to take possession of properties of the PFI and associated organisations and seal them.


The Centre on Wednesday declared the PFI, its associates, affiliates and fronts as an unlawful association for a period of five years. The Ministry of Home Affairs said that some of PFI’s founding members are leaders of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and the outfit has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) — both of which are proscribed organisations.

Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala are some of the outfits banned by the MHA for “unlawful association” with PFI.

The central government’s notification comes a day after over 200 people allegedly linked with the PFI were detained or arrested in raids across seven states, five days after a similar pan India crackdown against the group often accused of being linked to radical Islam.


Section 2(m) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) defines a “terrorist organisation” as an organisation listed in the Schedule to the UAPA, or an organisation operating under the same name as an organisation so listed in the Schedule.

Once an outfit is declared outlawed, its funding and cadre become criminalised. Under Section 38 of UAPA, a person who “associates himself, or professes to be associated, with a terrorist organisation with intention to further its activities, commits an offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation” is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, the Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified.

Section 20 of the UAPA prescribes punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation. It states: “Any person who is a member of a terrorist gang or a terrorist organisation, which is involved in terrorist act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

There is also a provision for forfeiture of proceeds of terrorism. UAPA Section 24A states that even if the person is not convicted for being associated with a terrorist organisation, “proceeds of terrorism” can be forfeited to the Central Government or the State Government.

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Source: News18