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Will The Five-Year Ban Reduce PFI’s Pro-Terror Activities Across India?

The PFI ban under UAPA may not wipe it out but will certainly help the probe agencies disrupt its pro-terror strategy in the country. SIMI (after its ban in 2014) had morphed into Indian Mujahideen and PFI. It is perhaps due to this capacity of the PFI to seamlessly change its identity that the enforcement agencies have not been able to recover arms and ammunition since the mother organisations morphed its name and registered themselves as legitimate social organizations. In 2020, the MHA had put together a dossier in the aftermath of the anti-CAA protest violence, pointing to the funding received by the PFI. According to the report, the PFI received funding from countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The PFI members actively operate in the UAE through frontal outfits like the Rehab Foundation and the Indian Social Forum. PFI leaders maintain an office at Muraba, behind Lulu hypermarket in Al Ain in Dubai. Now that the Home Ministry has banned the PFI and its support groups, those who agitate or protest against the notification or favour any comments for PFI may also be considered a threat or supporter of PFI and may be dealt with by the probe agencies. It is surprising to see Congress leaders equating PFI with the RSS and seeking the latter’s ban.