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PFI writes to home ministry, explains why it should not be banned

NEW DELHI: Popular Front of India (PFI), facing prospects of a ban under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, over alleged involvement of its cadres in terror cases and ‘forced’ conversions, on Saturday said it had written to home Ministry and the NIA seeking to be heard on why it cannot be banned both “legally and democratically”.

“PFI as an organisation cannot be banned. We have written to the home ministry, national security adviser and NIA asking for a hearing (before a decision is taken on imposing a ban on the outfit),” said PFI secretary Anis Ahmed at a press conference here.

Describing PFI as a social organisation working for marginalised communities, especially Muslims, he said it had no links to terror and could not be held answerable for activists of its alleged ‘front’ organisations like Zainaba, found by NIA to be the common mentor behind the ‘forced conversion’ of two Kerala women including Hadiya, to Islam.

“Zainaba is not a PFI member,” Ahmed said adding that it was therefore for her alone, and not PFI, to offer any clarifications on the alleged sting operation where she is shown linking PFI and Sathyasarani to ‘forced’ conversions. “She has already claimed the (sting) video is doctored,” he added. Incidentally, the Nia Dossier on PFI forwarded to the home ministry describes Zainaba as the president of National Women’s Front, “the women’s wing of PFI”.

Asked why PFI was offering legal help to Hadiya alias Akhila Asokan when it was not linked to her conversion in any way, Ahmed said it was only because “we believe that a right has been denied to the girl, who is a major, (to embrace Islam and marry of her own free will)”.

Ahmed even denied that P Ahmed Sherief, the reported PFI leader shown in the media sting as acknowledging funding of the outfit through hawala, was a founder member of the outfit. The NIA dossier, however, lists one P Ahmed Sherief as the district committee member of PFI and co-coordinator of a PFI front, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO).

Though Ahmed said PFI had consciously decided to keep away from politics, he admitted that it was actively supporting Social Democratic Party of India, active in Kerala politics, and that both PFI and SDPI had common members.

Source : timesofindia

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PFI writes to home ministry, explains why it should not be banned


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