NEW DELHI: The official Twitter account of Popular Front of India (PFI) has been withheld in India by the social media platform "in response to a legal demand", a day after the Centre banned the outfit under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for "terror links".
The government had yesterday ordered the blocking of all the social media traces of the banned outfit, including its Twitter, YouTube channels, Instagram, and Facebook accounts.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made the announcement to ban the organisation through a notification issued late on Tuesday night, declaring "the PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts as an unlawful association with immediate effect".
Alongwith PFI, the ban is also imposed on its fronts including 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 an "unlawful association".
The notification clearly mentioned that the ban has been imposed against PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts for "indulging in unlawful activities, which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country and have the potential of disturbing public peace and communal harmony of the country and supporting militancy in the country.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government hereby declares the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its associates or affiliates or fronts including 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 an 'unlawful association'," reads the notification.
"The Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the UAPA have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Office."
The Centre issued the ban, citing the investigation of its agencies, mentioning "the investigations have established clear linkages between PFI and its associates or affiliates or fronts".
It is also accused that "some of the 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 proscribed organisations".
"There had been a number of instances of international linkages of PFI with Global Terrorist Groups the 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 some PFI cadres have joined international terrorist organisations."
The PFI is involved in several "criminal and terror cases and shows sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority of the country and with funds and ideological support from outside it has become a major threat to the internal security of the country", mentioned the notification.