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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightPUCL calls PFI ban...

PUCL calls PFI ban "unconstitutional" and meant to "instil fear among Muslims"

PUCL calls PFI ban unconstitutional and meant to instil fear among Muslims

The People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) said the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) is a move to push the Muslim community into "fear, intimidation, alienation, and silence." The statement further said that the raids and nationwide arrests are not "healthy for a constitutional democracy".

It added that India, being the largest democracy in the world, should not resort to the politics of banning when it comes to organisations and viewpoints which the government considers "anti-national". The only sustainable way to preserve unity, integrity, and fraternity among Indians is to demonstrate that the country is a functioning democracy with no discrimination based on religion.

The PUCL statement pointed out that ordinary Muslims can now be arrested under section 10 of UAPA because they were a member of PFI or associated with it in any capacity.

Condemning the crackdown, PUCL said it is concerned about what the five-year ban of PFI implicates for democracy and the rights to freedom of speech. It also noted that the raids and arrests were carried out by central agencies as local police of non-BJP ruled states were kept out of the operation.

In Tamil Nadu, the state police did not know about the raids and arrests until the very end. The human rights body alleged that the union government used the NIA to "trample the powers of the state government and undermine the Constitution." reported The News Minute.

The Ministry of Home Affairs banned the PFI saying the radical Islamic organisation is involved in "several criminal and terror cases" and shows "sheer disrespect to the constitutional authority". The notification described PFI to be an "internal threat" to India. PUCL responded to the claim by saying that UAPA is a law that criminalised guilt by association.

The PUCL has called on the Centre to revoke the ban and release the arrested workers. It also demanded that UAPA be repealed.

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