PFI ban: PFI was founded in the aftermath of the ban on Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)
The Popular Front of India (PFI), which has hit headlines after the centre banned it for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged terror links, was founded in 2006.
Here is a 5-point guide on the outfit
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The PFI was founded in 2006 by the merger of three outfits -- Kerala's National Development Front, Tamil Nadu's Manitha Neethi Pasarai and the Karnataka Forum for Dignity. The organisation later expanded to other parts of the country as more outfits joined its fold.
The PFI, which was founded in the aftermath of the ban on the Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), has said its objective is socio-economic empowerment of Muslims and other marginalised communities. Probe agencies, however, say they use their social activities as a front and are involved in radicalising youth and raising resources for terror activities.
The organisation came under the scanner after its members chopped off the hand of the college professor in Kerala. They alleged that he had prepared a Malayalam question paper with derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad. The PFI has also been accused of carrying out attacks, some of them deadly, on Sangh Parivar supporters.
Cental agencies are also probing the funding of the PFI and organisations affiliated to it. Leaders of the outfit are said to travel to the Middle East to raise funds for its activities. The outfit has also been accused of helping terrorist organisations such as ISIS in recruiting youngsters.
The PFI has never contested elections on its own. However, its political wing, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), founded in 2009 has contested Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka with little success. In local polls, however, the outfit has been gaining ground in some pockets of influence, such as Udupi.