On Tuesday, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took to Twitter to slam Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for giving legitimacy to a radical Islamist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI). He further stated that the said organisation was connected to anti-national and anti-social activities in the country.
Fadnavis had posted a notice issued by the Public health Department on May 18 wherein it had directed all hospital in-charges to contact the local police, local medical officer and four coordinators of PFI, namely, Iqbal Khan, Saeed Ahmad, Saeed Choudhary, and Sadique Qureshi, in case of death of Muslim coronavirus patients. The notice further said that a task force constituted by the radical Islamist organisation would facilitate the burial of such dead bodies. Devendra Fadnavis asked CM Uddhav Thackeray whether he agreed with the notice. He reiterated, “If not, will you take action?”
Shocked to know that @mybmc giving legitimacy to organisation like Popular Front of India (PFI), allegedly known for anti-national & anti-social activities.— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) June 2, 2020
Hon CM @OfficeofUT ji do you agree to this?
If not, will you take strong action?
Sharing few links, See what is PFI? pic.twitter.com/KLcZoupBPh
PFI members’ involvement in murder and radicalisation
The Popular Front of India has a long history of its members indulging in violent crimes, including murder, and terrorism. In 2016, Rudresh who used to be an RSS and BJP leader was brutally murdered by two bike-borne youths in broad daylight at the heart of Bangalore. In the aftermath, the NIA described the murder as a terrorist act and the police arrested five individuals including a PFI leader in connection with the crime. Two former members of the radical Islamist organisation were also among 10 Keralites who joined the Islamic State (IS) in 2018.
In 2019, the Kumbakonam Police in Tamil Nadu had arrested a PFI member for his involvement in the brutal murder of a 42-year-old Ramalingam who opposed religious conversions. In December last year, the Uttar Pradesh police had arrested the state head of PFI, Waseem, and his two aides for allegedly masterminding the violence during the anti-CAA protests held in Lucknow last week. In a shocking incident, the hands of Professor TJ Joseph, a faculty of the Newmans College at Thodupuzha in Idukki, was chopped off by the members of Popular Front of India, for alledged derogatory remarks on Prophet Mohammed.
PFI and Delhi riots
Several members and leaders of the PFI have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the Delhi anti-Hindu riots, and previously the anti-CAA violence in UP and Delhi.
In earlier reports, it was stated that the cops are investigating the Whatsapp chats, speeches, and funding allegedly received from PFI and abroad by the 9 people arrested in connection to the case. According to the Delhi police, the 9 accused had asked local leaders to mobilise women and children and also discussed “arrangements for protests.”
The Delhi Police had arrested two PFI members, Parvez Ahmed and Iliyas for instigating and funding the anti-Hindu riots in the national capital earlier this year.