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PFI was promoting radicalism, we banned it rising above vote-bank politics: Amit Shah

Agartala: Noting that the government has successfully banned Popular Front of India (PFI) from rising above vote-bank politics, Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the organisation promoted "radicalism and religious bigotry" and tried to prepare "raw material for terrorism" and any delay in action would not have been in the national interest.
Shah also targeted Congress and said the party "tried to close cases" against PFI members which were stopped by the court. In his visit to poll-bound Karnataka, Shah attacked Congress over the PFI issue. Following this, the Union Home Minister faced criticism from Congress that he attempted to equate Congress with PFI.
"We have banned PFI successfully...PFI promoted radicalism and religious bigotry. They were in a way trying to prepare raw materials for terrorism. So many documents have been found which show that their activities were not good for the country's unity and integrity," Amit Shah said in an exclusive interview with ANI.
Asked about allegations that there was no difference between PFI and Congress, Shah said he had not said that Congress and PFI were one.
"I said that there were various kinds of cases against the PFI cadre. The Congress government tried to close the cases but the court stopped it. What is there to be upset about? You should not have done it and if you do, you will have to listen...We decided to ban it, rising above the vote bank politics," he stressed.
Answering a query, the Home Minister said there was a time when PFI was a problem of South Karnataka and Kerala.
"When we decided to ban it, PFI had started stretching its activities to the other parts of the country and had spread itself to a certain extent. The agencies received information that it would not be good to delay the ban or give the benefit of the doubt. So we decided on it and put a strict ban on PFI. There has been no reaction in society from either side," Shah said.
The government had in September last year banned PFI and its associates for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for "terror links".
During his visit to Karnataka last week, Amit Shah targeted the Congress and accused it of releasing PFI members.
"Congress had released 1700 members of the PFI, while the BJP government under PM Modi's leadership banned and shut it permanently. Congress party strengthens anti-national elements, and it can never protect Karnataka," Shah had said during his visit to the coastal region of poll-bound Karnataka.
Along with PFI, the government had also banned 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.
The notification said 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. (ANI)

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