Representative Image | Photo: TK Pradeep Kumar
New Delhi: Though discussions to ban the Popular Front of India sparked in 2017, varying opinions were raised by the officials of the union home department. Followers of PFI are likely to form another organisation with the same motives under a changed name if it is banned, they said.
The leaders who were arrested on the previous day, including SDPI founding president E Aboobacker, PFI vice-president EM Abdul Rahman, and member of national council Prof P Koya were allegedly part of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which was banned in 2001.
In an affidavit filed in connection with the attack against Prof TJ Joseph, the state government noted that the Popular Front of India is a new form of SIMI.
The PFI was established in 2006 by merging NDF, which was formed after demolishing Babri Masjid, Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Forum of Dignity in Karnataka, Citizen Forum in Goa, Community and Social Education Society in Rajasthan and Nagrik Adhikar Suraksha Sena in Andhra Pradesh.
Soon, its political wing, SDPI, was also formed. The dawn-dusk hartal declared by PFI on Friday and the subsequent violence unleashed in the state asserted the strong roots of the organisation within Kerala.
Though NIA and ED raids at the offices of PFI were conducted in 15 states all over India, Kerala witnessed the most aggressive retaliation of the PFI followers on the hartal day.