The Central Government has issued a notification on Tuesday declaring the Popular Front of India (PFI) and eight of its affiliate organisations as "unlawful association" under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).

The Gazette notification issued by the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs bans Rehab India Foundation (RIF), Campus Front of India (CFI), All India Imams Council (AIIC), National Confederation of Human Rights Organization (NCHRO), National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala as affiliate groups of the PFI.

Pertinently, the notification declares PFI's "associates or affiliates or fronts including" the aforesaid groups. The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the registered political outfit of the PFI, has not been mentioned in the notification. It is reported that the Home Ministry is consulting the Election Commission of India for taking action against the SDPI. The SDPI has many elected representatives in southern states like Kerala.

The ban is for a period of five years.

The notification says that the Rehab India Foundation collects funds through PFI members and some of the members of the PFI are also members of the other abovementioned groups and that they have "a 'Hub and Spoke' relationship with the PFI acting as the Hub and utilizing the mass outreach and fund raising capacity of its associates or affiliates or fronts for strengthening its capability for unlawful activities and these associates or affiliates or fronts function as 'roots and capillaries' through which the PFI is fed and strengthened".

The notification says that PFI's founding members are the leaders of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), both of which are banned organisations and that there had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"..the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts have been working covertly to increase radicalization of one community by promoting a sense of insecurity in the country, which is substantiated by the fact that the some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations", the notification says.

The notification says that the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have recommended to ban PFI.

Click here to read/download Notification