It’s up to Centre to ban NDF: Kodiyeri

via VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram published on July 25, 2010

Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has said that any decision to ban the Popular Front of India, known generally in its old name of NDF, should come from the Centre since it is functioning not only in Kerala but in other states as well. He said the State Government would submit its report to the Centre on the operations of the outfit in Kerala.

Speaking to newsmen after a high-level police meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, Kodiyeri, a CPI(M) Politbureau member, said the State Government would take a decision on whether the Popular Front had to be banned after the NIA presented its investigation report. “Since the Popular Front is working in other states as well, it is up to the Centre to take a decision on banning it,” he said.

The Popular Front is operating widely in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also even as efforts are on to find allies in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra using its pro-Dalit and pro-backward face. The Popular Front was formed in 2007 by merging the NDF with the Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Tamil Nadu’s Manitha Neethi Pasarai.

The Home Minister said that a report by the Centre three years back had put the number of outfits in Kerala receiving funds from abroad as 1,533 but the authority to take actions to control them was with the Union Government. There were credible reports about hawala deals in Kerala, he aid. “As such, the Centre alone can investigate such issues. Changes should be brought in to the relevant laws so that the State can also deal with them,” Kodiyeri said.

Indications supported the assumption that it could be the banned Islamist organization, SIMI, which was now functioning in the name of Popular Front, Kodiyeri said. It was trying to whip up communal passion with the objective of attracting Muslim youths into extremism, he said. The July 4 attack on a professor in Muvattupuzha was an act with this objective, he said. However, majority of the Muslims in the State were against them, he added.

“What happened in Muvattupuzha was not just an attack. It was more than that. It was an experiment by the perpetrators to see whether more youths could be attracted into extremism through such acts,” Kodiyeri said. “As per the information collected so far in the investigations, more people than those arrested so far could have been involved in the attack,” he said

If it was proved that there were spies of the Popular Front in the State police force they would be expelled forthwith, the Home Minister said. There were reports earlier that the Popular Front had cleverly positioned about 500 men in the ranks ranging from DySP down to ordinary police constable in the State police. This was allegedly the reason why recent raids on several Popular Front offices had failed to yield results.

There was no infighting in the State police force, Kodiyeri said, adding that allegations to this effect would only help derail the investigations against the Popular Front and into the attack on the professor. There had been no failure on the part of the Intelligence wing of the police, he said. Kodiyeri also told the Press that a special squad to deal with terror cases would be established soon.

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