The Jharkhand government has banned the Popular Front of India for the second time, home department has issued a notification regarding the decision.
Earlier, in February 2018, The Jharkhand government had banned the organisation for its alleged links to the Islamic State.
“The state has banned the Popular Front of India, which is active in Jharkhand, under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908. The Home Department had recommended the ban,” a government statement had said. The government had further stated, “The PFI is very active in Pakur district. The members of the PFI, which was set up in Kerala, are influenced by the IS. According to Home Department report, some PFI members have even gone to Syria from southern states and are working for the IS,” the statement added.”
Following the February, 2018 order the Jharkhand High Court in August last year had revoked the government’s notification. According to the Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, the notification was issued in a hurry without a proper check on pieces of evidence and proves. The state was unwary and incognizant while taking such a big decision. Earlier the court had noted that some PFI members had gone to Syria with a purpose to join ISIS and had declared a ban on the whole party. Later it was discovered that the allegations were obscure.
The court had said, “The State has faulted on the decision-making process itself. Sound reasoning and rational basis should have formed the backbone of the impugned notification. Even if in the interest of security the reasons were not mentioned the State was not prevented to appraise this Court of any substantive material, the investigating agency may have collected indicating the involvement of PFI in subversive activities. Neither has such material been brought to the notice of the Court, not the counter affidavit highlights such instance which would be supportive of the decision of the State Government for issuing the Notification dated 21.2.2018.”
In 2006, the PFI was started in Kerala as a successor to National Development Front. In the next few years the organisation got merged with Karnataka Forum for Dignity of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu’s Manitha Neethi Pasarai.
The PFI has been banned under Section 16, The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908.