PFI ban a message to all `anti-national groups`, says Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai

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New Delhi: Welcoming the Centre's decision to ban the Popular Front of India (PFI) for its alleged terror activities, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday (September 28, 2022) said that the move will send a message to all the "anti-national groups" that they will not survive in India. Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said that they had their command outside the country and some of their important office-bearers had even gone across the border for the training.

"For a long time, it has been a demand by the people of this country, by all political parties including the opposition CPI, CPI(M) and the Congress. PFI is the avatar (incarnation) of SIMI (banned Students' Islamic Movement of India), and KFD (Karnataka Forum for Dignity). They were involved in anti-national activities and violence," news agency PTI quoted Bommai as saying.

The group was formed on December 19, 2006, with the merger of the KFD and the National Development Front (NDF). The NDF was formed after the Babri Masjid demolition and subsequent riots in 1993.

"The PFI was involved in all sorts of anti-social activities and the time had come to ban this organization," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.

"With a lot of background work, information, and cases, the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah has taken the right decision. This is the message for all anti-national groups that they will not survive in this country. I also urge people not to associate with such organizations," he added.

To a question that PFI was strong in coastal Karnataka and that the task before the state government to remove them, he said, "Whatever necessary, will be done."

Earlier on Tuesday, in an eight-hour-long operation, the Karnataka police detained over 80 people, mostly office-bearers and members of the PFI and its political offshoot Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) from across the state, on the basis of intelligence inputs that they were trying to foment trouble in the society.

In a notification issued late Tuesday night, the Union Home Ministry banned the PFI saying that the central government is of the opinion that the Islamist outfit and its affiliates have been involved in subversive activities, thereby disturbing public order and undermining the constitutional set up of the country and encouraging and enforcing a terror-based regressive regime.

"It continues propagating anti-national sentiments and radicalising a particular section of society" with the intention to create disaffection against the country," the notification read.

(With agency inputs)

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