Following the second round of crackdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday issued a notification banning the Islamist organization named Popular Front of India and its affiliate organizations. The MHA stated that the organizations including All India Imams Council, Campus Front of India (CFI), Rehab India Foundation, National Conf of Human Rights Org, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation, and Rehab Foundation, Kerala operated unlawfully and needed to be banned under UAPA.
The ban on the PFI came after two rounds of searches by the NIA in a multi-agency investigation against the organization for sponsoring terror operations in the nation. The initial series of raids occurred on September 22, with a follow-up on Tuesday, September 27 in multiple states, resulting in the arrest of at least 250 persons associated with PFI.
Central Government declares PFI (Popular Front of India) and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect, for a period of five years. pic.twitter.com/ZVuDcBw8EL
— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2022
The NIA officials also recovered several incriminating materials from the PFI hubs located in around 17 states of the country. Prominent among them include a brochure and CD related to ‘Mission 2047’. As reported earlier, the document has been recovered from the possession of the vice president of PFI Maharashtra and PE training material from Irfan Milli’s house, State President PFI Maharashtra.
Further, a huge amount of undocumented cash has also been recovered from the PFI leaders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and also document in a ‘short course on how to make IEDs using easily available materials’. Meanwhile, pen drives containing videos related to ISIS, and Gajwa-e-Hind have been found from the Uttar Pradesh PFI leadership and Marine radio sets from Tamil Nadu PFI leadership. Many such other materials including wireless communication devices have been taken into custody by the official.
Marine radio establishing sea terror links
While the NIA officials recovered the ‘Mission 2047’ document and PE training material from the PFI hideout in Maharashtra, a huge amount of unaccounted cash and other incriminating devices were recovered from the PFI leaders of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, most important of those being GPS enabled wireless communication devices and marine radio sets. In the national crackdown on September 23, the NIA officials recouped wireless communication devices from the house of now arrested PFI member Barakabdullah.
Barakabdullah who also is Ramnad West District President and State President, Fisherman Wing, SDPI, was arrested from his house in Valinokkam in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. According to the reports, two wireless sets, Lowrance LHR-80 Floating Handheld VHF with GPS, were seized from his home. The receiver incorporates a distress call button and illuminated function buttons for nighttime use enabling easy communication and navigation. Reports mentioned that wireless gadgets are used to map water routes, and the apprehended suspect may have been utilizing them for sea terror actions and money exchange.
Lowrance LHR-80 is a combo radio and navigator, a floating handheld VHF Marine Radio with an inbuilt GPS function, made by American marine electronics company Lowrance.
Pen drives include video of Gajwa-e-Hind, 1993 Bombay riots
Notably, the pen drives and other digital devices including three mobile phones recovered from the PFI hideout in Uttar Pradesh contained a video of ISIS, a video of Gajwa-e-Hind, a video of a provocative speech, and a few video clips from the Islamic States. The pen drive also contained videos related to the 1993 Bombay riots and Kashmiri Mujahid. The PFI members had plans to spread the roots of the organization to almost every household by 2047. They also had plans to establish Islamic rule in the country by 2047, the year that would mark 100 years of the country’s independence.
For this purpose, the PFI leaders had prepared a document named ‘Mission 2047’ which had an “Internal document, Not for circulation”, written on it. The document stated that the Muslims in the country are denied their rights and that they should increase their population and target Hindus to become a political power in the coming 25 years.
According to the reports, the recovery of the pen drives, mobile phones, and other incriminating digital devices was made by the Police from the PFI outfit in Uttar Pradesh. The ATS last week arrested the PFI individuals from Varanasi, Lucknow, and Meerut for conspiring to break the country and form an Islamic nation in 2047. The ATS stated that these people were engaged in anti-national activities by preparing sleeper modules in the state.
PFI UP instigated Muslims by calling state ‘an anti-Muslim government’
The ATS identified 24 such accused associated with the PFI who were misleading the Muslims by setting rhetoric against the Hindu community in Uttar Pradesh. They also criticized the Central Government led by PM Modi and the state government led by CM Yogi Adityanath by calling it ‘an anti-Muslim government’. The ATS interrogated the arrested individuals on September 24 to learn that PFI also had plans to launch severe anti-Hindu protests like that of anti-CAA and NRC riots.
The arrested accused identified as Shadab Aziz Qasim from Meerut and Rizwan from Varanasi and 4 others associated with the PFI trained their cadres for guerrilla warfare tactics to attain Gajwa-e-Hind. The goal of PFI, according to the security agency, is to strive toward making India the Islamic Republic. The PFI adherents want India to build a new Sharia-law-based society by 2047 by targeting and harming Hindus and engaging in subversive operations. The accused associated with the PFI believe that the organization will not stop until the goal of Gajwa-e-Hind is attained.
The ATS also arrested Mohammad Shadab Aziz Qasmi, the President of All India Imam Council Western UP, Maulana Sajid, Mufti Shahzad, and Mohammad Islam Qasmi who were members of the Adhoc Committee of PFI Uttar Pradesh. Also, Abdul Majeed who operated the PFI media cell from Lucknow was detained by the officials amid the raids. Reports mention that Majeed was involved in spreading communal violence during the Ram Janmabhoomi Pujan and abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. The ATS however earlier had arrested one PFI member named Raj Mohammed who had threatened to blow up the RSS offices in Tamil Nadu.
Promoting Love Jihad and religious conversion
The investigating agencies also revealed that the PFI activists were deliberately encouraging the Islamists to trap Hindu women in love affairs and produce more children ultimately expanding the Muslim community. The PFI asked its cadres and other Muslims to force the Hindu women to convert their religion to Islam. At every PFI gathering, the activist would influence Muslims to run the agenda of love jihad and religious conversion. The organization had also declared a financial reward of Rs 2 lakh, a shop, and a house to anyone who would convert a Hindu girl to Islam. Reports mention that several Islamic organizations from several Islamic countries provided funds to the PFI for this purpose.
The MHA in the notice issued on September 28 stated that some PFI activists had joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and taken part in terrorist acts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Some of these PFI cadres affiliated with ISIS have been executed in these conflict zones, while others have been apprehended by state police and central authorities. According to the government, PFI has ties to Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned terrorist organization, and some of its founding members are leaders of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), another banned organization.
The Home Ministry went on to say that the PFI’s office-bearers and cadres, along with others, were scheming and soliciting cash from within and beyond India via banking channels, ‘hawala’, and contributions as part of a “well-crafted criminal conspiracy.” According to the report, after collecting the finances, cadres moved, stacked, and integrated them through many accounts in order to present them as legal, and then utilized them to carry out various criminal, unlawful, and terrorist acts in India.
It is noteworthy that in the last couple of weeks, the central agencies, including NIA and ED, along with state police, have raided over a hundred locations linked to PFI across the country. More than 150 cadres of PFI were arrested or detained, including its chief OMA Salam.