PFI left little doubt over its true nature, NIA’s crackdown is need of the hour – Mr Prakash Mishra (r), Spl. DG, NIA

Over 200 people associated with the Popular Front of India have been held from different parts of the country, and the number is expected to rise as the National Investigating Agency tightens its grip on the organization, which is allegedly involved in terror activities and radicalization of the youth in the country. According to the Central government, PFI and its associates, such as socio-economic, educational and political organizations had been secretly pursuing a secret agenda to radicalize a particular section of the society, and showing sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional set up of the country.

NIA’s massive crackdown on the PFI has once again triggered a forever-debate over the authenticity and credibility of the organization, which has found dark clouds looming over its head in the past couple of months. In an exclusive conversation with The Quotes, Mr Prakash Mishra, former Special Director General, NIA, says Islamic terror in India has been a persisting problem, and concerted efforts, first by banning of SIMI followed by the relentless pursuit of IM ranks, have yielded results over the period.

“A very dangerous facet of PFI was that it targets educated young kids and impressionable people, via social media, and then indoctrinate them. Due to their rapid radicalisation of the youth and motivated agenda, presence of PFI spread across all the states. In fact, their headquarters had shifted to Shaheen Bagh. The Popular Front of India orchestrated the famous roadblock at Shaheen Bagh during CAA-NRC outbreak,” he said.

The government – earlier this week – banned the Islamic outfit and its associates for five years. The decision came after two rounds of massive countrywide raids for the second consecutive week. The Islamic outfit, its leaders and its associates had been under the scrutiny of the central probe agencies over alleged terror links.

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A lot has been said and written in terms of the government’s objective behind the crackdown and arrests of such a magnitude. According to Mr Mishra, the message in the aftermath of PFI’s ban is clear: ‘ you’re welcome to join the political mainstream but not through these means of terror and radicalizing the youth’.

While commenting on the support PFI is getting on social media from some sections of society, the former Special DG, NIA feels it’s an unfortunate trend in India. Notably, BSP supremo, Mayawati, hit back at the Centre for their action on PFI and termed it ‘crackdown on Muslims’ while there are many such posts which are floating around on social media calling the agency’s action ‘an intentional crackdown on the minority group.’

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“It’s a very sad trend in our country. In no other country would you find such kind of resistance to a thing which is towards the good cause of the country. In fact, they act very ruthlessly against any act of suspicion/terror because human life and the maintenance of law and order are paramount for every society. I don’t think religion has got anything to do with this. It is basically we’re fighting terror. Right-thinking people should see such organizations as a potential danger to the integrity of our country, and the action should have the support of all. Yet, for political reasons, I think some people object to it. Which is unfortunate,” concluded Mr. Mishra.

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