Islamist PFI a threat to national security: Kerala Govt

published on July 25, 2012

The Kerala Government on Wednesday informed the High Court that
Islamist organization Popular Front of India (PFI) – formerly NDF – had
connections with the banned outfit, Students’ Islamic Movement of India
(SIMI), and that its fundamentalist posture was a threat to the security
and integrity of the nation.

In an affidavit filed in the High Court on the basis of a
report from the Additional DGP (Intelligence), the Government said that
several Popular Front activists were SIMI operatives earlier. It also
said that the organization had involvement in 27 killings and that some
of its workers had been accused in cases pertaining to murders of RSS
and CPI(M) activists.

The Government had filed the affidavit in response to a petition
filed in the court seeking early settlement of the outfit’s requests
made before concerned Superintendents of Police many months ago for
permission to hold its demonstrations (called Freedom Parade) on the
Independence Day in four Kerala towns – Irattupetta, Kollam, Ponnani and

The affidavit also said that permission could not be given to an
organization like the Popular Front for holding such demonstrations. It
said that application seeking permission for public programmes should be
given only one week in advance and that it was not inappropriate not to
entertain applications given earlier.

The Popular Front used to hold Freedom Parades, colourful processions
in which participating activists appeared in the organization’s
uniform, in several cities and towns on Independence Day earlier but ban
was first imposed on this after the brutal attack on a college
professor in Ernakulam district in 2010.

In a Taliban-model attack on July 4, 2010, the right hand of Prof TJ
Joseph was chopped off allegedly by activists of the Popular Front and
its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for setting
some questions of a test paper for students in such a way that it
blasphemed Prophet Muhammad. The NIA is looking into this case.

Earlier this month, Kerala Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan
had told the State Assembly that former activists of SIMI were still
carrying out their activities under cover though the organization as
such was not functioning in the State.

According to him, several former SIMI activists were spreading the
banned outfit’s ideals while working in other organizations. The State
Intelligence Department was watching the activities of organizations
that had been infiltrated by former SIMI functionaries, he said.

Seven terror-related cases, including a training camp held by SIMI
activists at Vagamon in Idukki district in December, 2007, had been
handed over to the National Investigating Agency (NIA), he said. The
police had earlier got clear indications of former SIMI men’s activities
in the State in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had stated in Thiruvananthapuram on
June 27 that two or three organizations in Kerala could be providing
some kind of support or shelter to extremist elements.

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