On October 3, The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) issued a press release and condemned the ban imposed on the Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and its eight affiliate organisations by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, for five years. CPI (Maoist) called it a ‘draconian and anti-democratic’ decision by the GoI and deemed it as an “integral part of Hindutva agenda”. The organisation said, “Through imposing ban, the Brahmanic Hindutva BJP once again criminalised the Muslim community.”
Pointing out the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids against PFI between September 25 and September 29 in multiple states, CPI (Maoist) claimed that the raids caused a lot of agony and discomfort among the members of PFI. The statement read, “NIA made searches in 11 States of the country in a gap of four days from 25th to 29th in which it arrested above 100 and detained above 250 persons belonging to the Popular Front of India (PFI). The raids caused a lot of agony and discomfort to the arrested persons and their family members.”
Ignoring the fact that members of PFI were planning terrorist attacks in India and investigation agencies found evidence against the organisation, CPI (Maoist) claimed that the action was taken as PFI “opposed Brahmanical Hindutva fascism”. They said, “The government logic for enforcing ban revolves around three reasons. One is that the PFI and its eight affiliate organisations are engaged in “violent terrorist activities”. The second is that PFI is establishing a reign of terror and disrupting the “peace” of the country. And the third is that the PFI is a threat to the national security of the nation. All these logics are only to outrightly curtail and decimate the forces opposing Brahmanical Hindutva fascism.”
Furthermore, CPI (Maoist) targeted the government over action against rioters, gangsters, and criminals who happened to be from the Muslim community. However, they completely missed the point that the action was taken against rioters, gangsters, and criminals irrespective of caste and religion.
The press note stated, “The fascist vigilante forces like Gau Rakshaks, Anti-Romeo squad, and Hate-speech mongers are getting legitimacy and support of the government. In the last eight years, in the name of Gau Rakshaks (Cow protection), fascist vigilante groups have lynched Muslims in broad daylight. The properties of Muslims are considered illegal and confiscated or razed through a bulldozer. Since it came to power, the BJP is consciously instigating ‘Islamic phobia”, and there is extreme ghettoisation of Muslims in India.”
CPI (Maoist) further claimed that the ban on PFI was an attempt by the BJP to gain political brownie points for the upcoming 2024 General Elections. The organisation further claimed that the ban on anti-India accounts on social media platforms was also done as those accounts were “critical of the BJP government”.
Ban on PFI by the government of India
The Popular Front of India (PFI), as well as any related or connected factions, were immediately banned on September 27 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, by the provisions of Section 3’s sub-section (1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for a period of five years. This prohibition, however, was not enacted on the basis of cursory inquiry and conjecture. A series of events unfolded during investigations by agencies leading to the ban on PFI. Details of those events can be read here.
CPI (Maoist) is a banned organisation
Communist Party of India (Maoist), all its formations and front organisations are banned in India under UAPA. The organisation was banned in 2009 by the then UPA government following the merger of CPI-ML (People’s War Group) with the Marxist Coordination Committee.