UP govt may ban radical Popular Front of India

Lucknow (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government is planning to take strict action against the radical forces and organisations involved in cases of arson and violence during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests.

Some top officials of the state admit that the state government was keeping a close watch on the 'Popular Front of India' (PFI) which has lately come up in the state. However, the officials were not ready to speak anything officially on the plans to ban it.

Uttar Pradesh suffered the maximum loss of government property in the violent anti-CAA protests and several people lost their lives.

In Meerut, the police have arrested two miscreants in connection with the violence. During investigation, it was revealed that both the accused were active members of the PFI.

Awanish Awasthi, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Uttar Pradesh said: "I will not be able to say anything about the ban right now. The state government is taking precautionary measures.

"With the arrest of members of this organisation in Meerut, the situation is clear. At present, the Uttar Pradesh Police intelligence and the state government are keeping a close watch on all the suspicious activities of this organisation."

Lucknow witnessed several violent incidents over the CAA. The arson-riot incidents at Nadwa revealed the poor state of law and order situation in the state capital.

A senior police officer in Meerut told IANS: "The organisation has spread as much terror as it could in Meerut, Lucknow and other parts of the state. The investigation has cleared the picture."

Sources said that the Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh Police are planning to take strict action against the organisation.

The two miscreants caught in Meerut have revealed that the headquarters of the PFI is located near South-East Delhi's Shaheen Bagh/Okhla-Jamia Nagar area.

A senior officer of the Uttar Pradesh Police said: "Wherever the state police have received news of riots and arson, the organisation is directly or indirectly involved. This is a sensitive matter. No action will be taken in haste. An exemplary action will be taken against the organisation so that no untoward action happens in the future."

A highly placed source of the Uttar Pradesh police told IANS, "A file to ban this organisation was opened about six months ago. However, no action has been taken as yet. There have been no discussions on any plan to ban the organisation."

"It will not be appropriate to reveal the steps to be taken by the government against the organisation."

However, the PFI has dismissed the allegations.

"The government can say whatever it wants. We dismiss these allegations," a PFI member said.

When asked about the possible ban of PFI, the group's member said, "First, the government should have evidence against us."

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