On 28/9/2022 Government of India banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and eight of its associates for five years under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Its associates were Campus Front of India (CFI), National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), National Women’s Front (NWF), Rehab India Foundation (RIF), All Indian Imams Council (AIIC), Junior Front (JF), Empower India Foundation (EIF) and Rehab Foundation, Kerala (RFK). There was no ban on its political associate Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
The ban came after raids on offices and residences of PFI leaders. There were many arrests. In Kerala, PFI engaged in vandalism in protest against raids. On 29/9/2022 Kerala High Court ordered PFI to pay 5.20 crore rupees in damages.
Some Congress and Indian Union Muslim League leaders welcomed ban on PFI. Some demanded RSS also should be banned. CPI and CPI(M) said ban is not the way to tackle the problem. AIMIM did not support the ban.
PFI is accused of violent acts and murders of members of RSS, SFI, Bajrang Dal, BYJM, Hindu Munnani and PMK. It is also accused of attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Professor T. J. Joseph whose hand was severed by PFI members said he had sought ban on PFI several times. He said “There is no doubt that this is a terrorist organisation that kills, terrorises, that aims to establish an Islamic reign.”
CFI was behind hijab protests in Karnataka. Supreme Court has concluded hearings in hijab case and reserved judgment.
Some say Students Islamic Movement of India morphed into PFI after its ban.
We have to wait and see how effective the ban will be. RSS thrived under ban. Maoists have survived under ban. Things are not normal in Jammu and Kashmir after making it a Union Territory in August 2019. Efforts to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits have failed.