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Maharashtra BJP demands ban on PFI

Pune: Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Saturday said that he will speak to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ban Popular Front of India (PFI), which is involved in anti-national work in the state and country.
His remarks came after a video surfaced on social media, which shows that a "Pakistan Zindabad" slogan was allegedly raised during a protest organised by the PFI in Pune. The BJP chief further said that those who raised the "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans should be arrested under cases of sedition.
"I will speak with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister to ban PFI, which is involved in anti-national work in the state and country. I will demand from the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister that wherever they are in Maharashtra, find them and arrest them by filing a case of sedition against them," Bawankule.
With a video showing that 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were allegedly raised during a PFI protest outside the District Collector's office here on Friday against the crackdown by NIA-led multi-agencies, Pune Police have said they will probe and verify the videos and action will be taken accordingly.
"We have received some videos, we will investigate and verify them completely and take action accordingly," said Sagar Patil, DCP Zone II, Pune.
'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans were heard outside the District Collector's office yesterday in Pune city where PFI cadres gathered against the recent ED-CBI-Police raids across 15 states.
Due to the high ambience noise in the original video feed some parts of the slogans in the video were faint. Information about slogans was further corroborated by reporters at the spot.
Some protestors were detained by Pune police and a case was registered for unlawful assembly against protestors. Police also arrested some protestors.
Joint teams of the National Investigation Agency, Enforcement Directorate and police had conducted multiple raids across 15 states of the country against PFI on September 22 and arrested over 106 members.
Reacting to the sloganeering incident, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also the state Home Minister said stringent action will be taken. "We will take stringent action against any person raising Pakistan Zindabad slogans in Maharashtra".
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nitesh Rane took to Twitter and warned those raising such slogans. He also sought a ban on PFI.
The largest-ever crackdown that was conducted against the Popular Front of India (PFI) members spread across 15 states was code-named "Operation Octopus", sources said on Saturday.
The searches were conducted in connection with five cases registered by the NIA following "continued inputs and evidence" that the PFI leaders and cadres were involved in the funding of terrorism and terrorist activities, organising training camps for providing armed training and radicalising people to join banned organisations.
A large number of criminal cases have been registered in different states over the last few years against the PFI and its leaders and members for their involvement in many violent acts.
Criminal violent acts "carried out" by PFI include chopping off the hand of a college professor, cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to Islamic State and destruction of public property. They have had a demonstrative effect of striking terror in the minds of the citizens.
The PFI had on Friday called for a 12-hour shutdown in Kerala, which turned violent in parts of the state. Stone-pelting was witnessed at various places, including at the RSS office at Mattannur in Kannur. Two police officials were also injured in the incident in Kollam.
The Kerala High Court initiated a suo motu case against PFI leaders who called for a strike in the state against the arrest of its members by the NIA.
As per a Kerala HC order on January 7, 2019, nobody can call for a bandh in the state without prior notice of seven days.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the court directed the police to ensure that "adequate measures are put in place to prevent any damage/destruction to public/private property of Government/citizens who do not support the call for hartal".
"Adequate police protection shall also be granted to all public utility services that apprehend violence, at the hands of those supporting the illegal hartal," the court added. (ANI)

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