PFI ban: High-level meet planned

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on August 4, 2010

A high-level meeting will be held in Kerala to discuss the issue of banning the Islamist organization, Popular Front of India, which is said to be behind the Taliban-model attack on a college professor in Muvattupuzha on July 4.

The meeting, in which Union Home Secretary GK Pillai would take part, would be held in end-August or early September, a Delhi report said. It was originally scheduled to be held this week but it was postponed considering the problems in Kashmir which was the priority issue at the moment for the Centre, according to sources. The exact date would be decided in consultation with the State Government.

Sources said that Central Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing had been closely monitoring the operations of the Popular Front in the South Indian states including Kerala and that Pillai was expected to brief the Kerala authorities on their findings. He was also expected to put forward to the Kerala Government the instructions of the Centre to tackle the organization, it is said.

The Intelligence agencies and the State police have got clear indications that several extremism-oriented outfits in Kerala have been getting overseas financial assistance. The meeting would discuss ways to find out the sources of such foreign funds for extremist organizations. Reports that several SIMI activists had joined the Popular Front after it was banned would also come up for discussion at the meeting, sources said.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had the other day told Parliament that Kerala had not so far given any proposal to the Centre regarding a ban on the Popular Front. He also said that the Centre had not got any evidences to believe that terrorism had spread in Kerala. The State Government had taken a position that it as up to the Centre to take a decision on banning the Popular Front as its operations were not confined to Kerala.

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry sought explanation from the NIA with regard to the proposal for a probe by the agency into the sabotage bid on the Nilambur-Shoranur Passenger train. The Kerala Government had proposed an NIA probe into the incident in which the brake pipes of the train were found slashed in several segments on the morning of July 8 at the Nilambur railway station in Kerala’s Muslim-majority Malappuram district.

Preliminary investigations by the Kerala Police, IB and the Railway Protection Force had established that it was indeed a sabotage bid but the Kerala Government wanted it to be probed by the NIA considering the dimension of the matter. However, Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said he had no idea whether Pillai had called a high-level meeting.

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