Popular Front of India
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|Popular Front of India|
|Motto||Naya Karavan : Naya Hindustan|
|Formation||22 November 2006|
|Type||Voluntary and Non-profit Organisation|
|Purpose/focus||A neo social movement for a new India of equal rights to all Indians|
Delhi (Head Quarters) G-66, 2nd Floor, Shaheen BaghKalindikunj, Noida Road, New Delhi – 110025, Tel/ Fax – 011 29945003
|Official languages||Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Meitei, Telugu|
|Chairman of the Front||K.M. Shareef|
|Main organ||State Presidents|
The Popular Front of India (PFI) is a confederation of Muslim organizations in India, including National Development Front, Manitha Neethi Pasarai and Karnataka Forum for Dignity etc. The PFI has about 80,000 members and sympathizers all over the country and works for the empowerment of minority and underprivileged groups in democratic India. In its bid for empowerment, the organization spread amongst different sections of the society with wings in women, students and the Imams etc., and has consequently joined hands with the backward sections of the Indian society, mainly the Dalits and tribals. It also works in cooperation with the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations and other Human rights activists in bid to curb human rights violation in the nation.
During its argument to disallow the organisation's Indian Independence day's commemoration program the "Freedom Parade" in 2012, the Government of Kerala informed the High Court that the activities of Popular Front are inimical to the safety of the country and is "nothing but a resurrection of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in another form",. The High Court rejected the Government's stand[which?] but upheld the ban imposed by the state Government. In July 2010, Kerala Police had unearthed country-made bombs, weapons and CDs and documents containing Taliban and Al-Queda propaganda from PFI activists. The raids conducted were termed undemocratic and unconstitutional by the leaders of the Popular front. As of 6 September 2010, as informed to the state high court by the Kerala government, no evidence has been found by the Police in its probe into the allegation of links to Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e Taiba (Let) or al-Qaeda. The SIMI connection and other allegations have been refuted by the PFI, and remain to be proven.
The PFI started in Kerala as successor to National Development Front in 2006. Later it merged with Karnataka Forum for Dignity of Karnataka and Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu and later in 2009, with Goa's Citizen's Forum, Rajasthan's Community Social and Educational Society, West Bengal's Nagarik Adhikar Suraksha Samiti, Manipur's Lilong Social Forum and Andhra Pradesh’s Association of Social Justice. It has been identified as having many fronts and is dealing with issues such as Muslim reservations, personal law courts for Muslims, cause of Dalits & tribals, scholarships for deprived Muslim students, etc.
A common platform was formed in cooperation with the South India Council as an outcome of a regional discussion attended by Muslim social activists and intellectuals from the South Indian States at Bangalore on 25 and 26 January 2004. The South India Council has taken up various issues related to community empowerment, especially reservation in education and employment and in cooperation with the Confederation of Muslim Institutions in India and organized a two-day workshop on Muslim Reservations on 26 and 27 November 2005 at Hyderabad, inaugurated by Rajya Sabha member Rahman Khan. The slogan of PFI is Naya Karavan: Naya Hindustan, which means "The new traveling way and the new India". It claims to strive to establish an egalitarian society in which freedom, justice and security are enjoyed by all.
Social activities 
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- Education and employment
The PFI conducts School Chalo ("Go To School") program each year during June and July when schools are open, conducting awareness programs to help disadvantaged children attend secondary school.
Demonstrations and rallies are conducted by the Popular Front of India to make as many people as possible aware about their rights to an education and employment. Caravans and awareness campaigns in cities such as Kokata are also conducted. KM Shareef, the National General Secretary of PFI has asserted that reservation is the most immediate need of Muslims, referencing a report submitted by the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee (Justice Rajindar Sachchar Committee) in November 2006, which identified the Muslim community as more backward than any other, and claimed that insufficient discussion on this topic were taking place in assemblies and parliaments. In the context of the Central Government's decision on reservation in higher education, the South India Council organized three Regional Conventions on Reservation: in Calcuta on 4 August 2006, in Bangalore on 5 August 2006, and in Chennai on 17 August 2006. A National Convention on Reservation in Higher Education was organized by the South India Council jointly with All India Milli Council at New Delhi on 29 August 2006. The dignitaries who addressed the convention include Former Prime Minister V. P. Singh and Union Minister Oscar Fernandez. In 2010, the National Executive Council of the PFI demanded a ten percent reservation for Muslims across India.
- Protests against alleged police misconduct
- Health awareness programs
"Health to all by 20th century" – was the slogan of WHO (world health organization) for the 20th century. Many countries had strive and established the above slogan, but India has miles to go in this area. Since 1946, 10 committees were set up to create various plans for health-related issues and the 8th five-year plan was totally dedicated with the slogan "Health to all", but the country is yet to achieve it practically.
- Protest against the judiciary
In 2010, PFI representatives held a demonstration protesting the sentencing in the trial resulting from the Bhopal disaster. The president of the PFI, Mohammed Tahir, claimed the verdict reflects a general insensitivity in the judiciary towards the "common masses."
- Rescue operations
Popular Front volunteers participated in rescue and relief operations in floods that struck north Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Assam where there was large-scale devastation and loss to life and property. During a rescue operation, a 50-year-old volunteer named Salahuddin lost his life in the Kurnool district. Thousands of packets of food were distributed and many public facilities and educational institutes were cleaned by the volunteers. During the Mangalore plane crash 22 May 2010, Popular Front volunteers involved themselves in the rescue operations jointly with police and firemen in hospitals and other rescue sites. They also worked with expatriates to help families of Mangalore air crash victims with help lines and other support.Imtiyaz,District secretary of Popular Front of India, said that Popular Front workers worked in team during rescue operation. Teams worked in Venlock, Yenappoya and Colaco Hospitals. Popular Front members reached to spot at early morning as soon disaster occurred, before firemen come and worked until rescue operation ends, he added.
- Human Rights
The organisation also has put efforts to the improve the human rights situation in India. With the growing number of such violations, the organisation works in tandem with human rights organisations like the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations. In the September of 2012, the PFI had organised a Human Chain demanding the release of innocent Adivasis, Dalits and Muslims at the Jantar Mantar. It was famed writer and activist, Arundhati Roy, launched a national wide signature campaign following the meeting
Role in seeking Reservation for Minorities 
Popular Front of India with the cooperation of Confederation of Muslim Institutions in India organized a two day Workshop on Muslim Reservation on 26 & 27 November 2005 at Hyderabad. Mr. K. Rahman Khan, Hon'ble Deputy Chairperson, Rajya Sabha inaugurated the same. In the context of Central Government decision to introduce reservation in higher education, South India Council has organized three Regional Conventions on Reservation: at Calicut on 4 August 2006, at Bangalore on 5 August 2006, and at Chennai on 17 August 2006. A National Convention on Reservation in Higher Education was organized by the South India Council jointly with All India Milli Council at New Delhi on 29 August 2006.
The dignitaries who addressed the convention include Mr. V. P. Singh, Hon'ble Former Prime Minister and Mr. Oscar Fernandez, Hon'ble Union Minister. The following three state level organizations have proved their commitment to the common cause of social justice by actively involving in various programmes of the Council. Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) (Karnataka State) National Development Front (NDF) (Kerala State) Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP) (Tamil Nadu State) When the tsunami wiped out many of the houses and facilities at the end of 2005, the volunteers were actively involved in helping the sufferers of tsunami victims of Kerala and Tamil Nadu with other organizations and government agencies.
||This article may contain wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (September 2010)|
- Empower India Conference
In February 2007, the PFI organised a three-day Empower India Conference in Bangalore, which ended with a public rally that gathered over 150,000 people. In the conference, one of the main guests, Alan Hart, British journalist specialising in West-Asian affairs, said that he had unlearned many stereotypes about the oppressed classes in the course of making a film on global poverty.
National Political Conference The grand public meeting at Calicut Beach on 17 February 29 which marked the conclusion of National Political Conference saw the merger of social organizations in eight states into the Popular Front of India. Along with the state presidents of NDF Kerala, MNP Tamil Nadu and KFD Karnataka which had already merged with Popular Front, heads of social organizations in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Manipur joined hands on the dais with the Popular Front chairman.
- Freedom Parade on Indian Independence Day
The PFI and its allies conduct a freedom parade on 15 August of every year in celebration of Indian Independence Day with a slogan Be the sentinel of freedom. The national flag is carried in front of the parade by volunteers, and orchestra bands that play patriotic songs are an added attraction to the parade. The parade is followed by public meeting with participation from the public including woman. In 2010, the parade was conducted in Uduppi and Mettuppalayam. In the previous years it was conducted in other South Indian cities like Mangalapuram and Madurai.
In the 2010 parade in Mettupalayam the keynote address was given by O.M.A Salam, the National Secretary of the PFI. In his speech he said, "This Indian Independence Day is the right time to renew our determination to protect the freedom of our beloved country. Once we all Indians united and fought against British colonial forces. Then we achieved the freedom. But now the Independence of India is under threat."
Kerala state government banned the freedom parade conducted by Popular Front of India stating it would jeopardize communal harmony. The ban was challenged in the Kerala High Court which upheld the ban. The Intelligence Wing of Kerala Police had informed the High Court that Popular Front of India is the new face of banned Islamist group Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and is engaged in fundamentalist and anti-national activities. This stand of the government was rejected by the High Court while the parade ban was upheld.
- Social Justice conference 2011
The Social Justice Conference that calls to "Build the Nation on Justice" was held at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi on 26 and 27 November 2011. It was organized by Popular Front of India which is a neo-social movement which claims to strives for the empowerment of the weaker sections and marginalized communities with grass root level networking in many states of India. The Conference was a get together of like minded organizations and movements which strive for the common goals.The first day of the conference had two separate seminar session on the topics ‘Together for Empowerment’ and ‘People’s Right to Justice’. The second day witnessed a large flow of masses to the Grand Public Meeting The conference was addressed by Syed Shahabuddin, a former MP and Mulayam Singh Yadav the Samajwadi party leader, a former MP and Thol. Thirumavalavan the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader. The key address of the conference was to plea the UPA government to implement the findings of Sachar Committee Report and the Ranganath Misra Commission
Allegations on PFI 
- Alleged connections with SIMI
In 2010, the PFI was alleged of having links with banned Islamic terrorist organisation Student Islamic Movement of India. PFI's national chairman Abdul Rehman was the former national secretary of SIMI, while the state secretary Abdul Hameed Master was SIMI's former state secretary. Most former leaders of SIMI were either identified with PFI or were at present holding various portfolios in the organization. The alleged SIMI connection has been dubbed baseless by the leaders of the Popular Front stating the fact that the Front was launched in 1993, whereas the SIMI ban came much later in 2001.
- Alleged terror camp in Kannur
In April 2013, Kerala Police have raided a training camp held at Narath, Kannur and arrested 21 activists of the Popular Front of India. Two country-made bombs, a sword, raw materials for making bombs, pamphlets in the name of PFI, an identity card of a person who worked in Iran and a human dummy were seized by the police. The raid was held at the office building of Thanal Charitable Trust. A document with names of several leading personalities and vehicles had also been seized, which police suspect is a hit-list.
However, the Popular Front leadership and those arrested claimed that it was a Yoga training programme organized as part of a personality development programme by the outfit.. The Popular Front further asked for a judicial probe by a sitting judge to inquire into the alleged training camp. The State President claimed that this police case was fabricated, and was cooked up in a bid to tarnish the organisations image.
On 18 May 2013, the NIA had arrived to investigate the alleged extremist activities in Narath.
- Alleged Kidnap and Murder of boys for ransom
Two boys Sudheendra and Vignesh were kidnapped on 8 June 2011 from Mahajan College premises in Mysore and murdered by members of Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), who sought ransom of 5 crore rupees to raise funds for their organisation.
In 2006 KFD had merged with New Delhi-based Popular Front of India (PFI). The arrested KFD members are Adil alias Adil Pasha, Athavulla Khan, Ameen alias Syed Ameen, Rehman alias Shabbir Rehaman, Kouser alias Mohammed Kouser and Safeer Ahmed alias Safeer.
Following the arrest of KFD members for the crime Karnataka state government requested the Union government to ban Karnataka Forum for Dignity.
- Alleged Murder of CPI(M) and RSS workers
- Murder of Vishalkumar allegedly by a PFI activist
On 20 July 2012, Vishalkumar, a student of NSS College, Konni, an active worker of ABVP was attacked inside the campus of Christian College and stabbed from behind to death. 3 ABVP actvist were attacked by an armed group of 15 Campus front activist. Police arrested two Capus Front of India activists in connection with the murder. Another student Sreejith was also injured. The arrested are Nazim and Shafeeq. Police said that they are searching for nineteen more persons in connection with the murder.
- Murder of ABVP activist N Sachin Gopal allegedly by a PFI activist
On 6 July 2012, N Sachin Gopal, a student of Modern ITC and Kannur Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad district leader, was allegedly stabbed from back by members of Campus Front and Popular Front of India. He later died of his injuries at KMC Hospital in Mangalore on 6 September 2012 A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to investigate the case.
- Alleged SMS hate campaign
After the Assam riots in 2012, a SMS hate campaign was launched threatening people from North-East India that they will be attacked, particularly after Ramzan. This led to a mass exodus of 30,000 people from cities of Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and national capital Delhi. Union Home Ministry banned bulk SMS, MMS for 15 days to quell rumours and threats.
Investigators traced the source of hate messages to Pakistan. In India, Islamist groups Popular Front Of India, HuJI, Manita Neeti Pasarai and Karnataka Forum for Dignity circulated the messages to mask the true origin of the messages and make it seem as they were originating from within India. The SMS campaign was designed to create panic among people from north east forcing them to flee and to damage the social fabric and economy.
Kerala State Intelligence has been asked to check the accuracy of the report with respect to the PFI. However PFI has denied the accusation. In the meanwhile, the PFI organized relief funds for victims of the 2012 Assam violence.[dead link]
- Attack on T. J. Joseph by PFI activists
In Jan 2011, Kerala Police has filed a charge sheet against 27 PFI activists in conjunction with an incident in which they allegedly chopped the hand off of a Kerala professor who had allegedly offended the religious sentiments of his students. At the time of the attack, Joseph was coming back from his duties at a private Christian college in Muvattapuzha and had been accused of blasphemy.[by whom?]
It is reported that the attack resulted from the ruling from one of the "Taliban-model" courts (Darul Khada) operating in the state. The Kerala state police claimed to be "unearthing the vast network" of the PFI, and after a series of raids on the houses of PFI members, the district secretary of the PFI "threatened the officer with dire consequences if he continued raiding the houses of its activists." On 9 July 2010, it was reported that PFI installations were being raided by police, and that they had found propaganda videos from the global Islamic network al-Qaeda in the possession of one alleged PFI member, and a rifle, fake SIM cards, and fake identity cards in the possession of another member of the PFI. As a result of the incident, the BJP has called for a ban on the PFI and an examinations of possible links between the PFI and the Taliban by the National Investigation Agency. On 6 September 2010, the Kerala Government informed the state high court that investigators thus far found no evidence of a connection between the Popular Front of India with Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e Taiba (Let) or al-Qaeda.
- Alleged harassment of woman by a PFI activist
Rayana R Kazi, a woman from Kerala approached the Kerala High Court seeking police protection after threats through phone calls and anonymous letters accusing her of abadoning Islam and converting to Christianity were made after she started wearing jeans and shirt. The harassers wanted her to be in purdah and wear hijab (headscarf). Rayan's four younger sisters and parents were also insulted.
After she could not get justice from local police and state women’s commission she approached the High Court. She named Muhammed Kavugoli, an activist of the Popular Front of India (PFI) as her tormentor.
- False allegations of love jihad
In the fall of 2009, Christian and Hindu groups accused the PFI of promoting a love jihad, in which young men were allegedly enticing women to convert to Islam The Kerala High Court asked the state police to investigate allegations. In late 2009, the Karnataka CID (Criminal Investigation Department) reported that although it was continuing to investigate, it had found no evidence that a "Love Jihad" existed. In late 2009, Director-General of Police Jacob Punnoose reported that although the investigation would continue, there was no evidence of any organisation using men "feigning love" to lure non-Muslim women to convert to Islam. In early 2010, the state government reported to the Karnataka High Court that although a large number of young Hindu women had converted to Islam, there was no organized attempt to convince them to do so. In the summer of 2010, Kerala Chief Minister V. S. Achutanandan claimed PFI has plans to Islamize Kerala over a twenty year period by influencing "youth of other religions and converting them by giving money, marrying them to Muslim women and thus producing kids of the community." PFI state unit president Nasaruddeen Elamaram responded by claiming that the charges were baseless and that religious conversion is not a crime, and BJP Mahila Morcha leader Sobha Surendran responded with doubts as to the chief minister's sincerity.
The Kerala High Court closed the 'Love Jihad' case on 2 December 2010. In an affidavit presented to the court, the Director General of Police stated there was no movement called ‘Love Jihad' operating in the State. Justice M. Sasidharan Nambiar disposed of a petition filed by Shahansha and Sirajudheen seeking to quash the criminal cases registered against them in connection with the abduction of two women studying for MBA.
The Anti-Hindutva Stance & Political Alternative 
In the series of events that took place in end of 2012 viz. "Why Popular Front", it was reported that the leaders reasoned as to why numerous allegations were being made and "conspiracies" being hatched , the main reason for this being its strong anti-Hindutva stance, and its potential emergence as a political alternative. Similar views of "conspiracy" and stories against the organisation were aired by certain Popular Front leaders in 2010 during the "Social Resurgence" conference and later. 
See also 
- Concern in govt over PFI’s growing outfits, spread, shishir gupta, Tue 5 Apr 2011, indianexpress.com
- Kerala: Police probing PFI's links with Al Qaeda, 6 September 2010, rediff.com
- "Popular Front has SIMI connection, informed HC". Asianetindia. Wednesday, 25 July 2012.
- "Muslim bodies float front". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
- "Popular Front of India floated". Webindia123. 2006-12-10.
- Pradesh, Andhra (2005-11-17). "Around the City". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
- Pradesh, Andhra (2005-11-29). "Declare Muslims backward for quota". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
- Pradesh, Andhra (2005-11-27). "Reservation to help overcome discrimination in society". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
- Bari, Pervez (2010-02-02). "Muslim reservation due to backwardness, not because of religion: Syed Shahabuddin". UMMID.
- Implement Mishra committee recommendations: conference
- Bari, Pervez (2010-03-03). "Popular Front to Hold Parliament March for Muslim Reservation on March 18". The Siasat Daily.
- School Chalo Program
- Bari, Pervez. "Popular Front to Stage Protest March at Indian Parliament to press demand for Muslim Reservation on Mar. 15". Prativad.
- Punjab Newsline Network (2010-02-11). "Popular Front of India started `National Campaign for Muslim Reservation’ programme in West Bengal". India News.
- CD Network (2010-03-12). "Reservation is the right of Indian Muslims: PFI Chief". CoastalDigest.
- "Former Prime Minister V. P. Singh arriving to attend the National Convention on Reservation in Education".
- "Popular Front of India: About Page".
- "Activists protest against police assault on women". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2009-03-10.
- "Popular Front cadre court arrest". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2010-07-23.
- Popular Front’s National Public Health Campaign in Nov 2009
- PFI Health Campaign 2009.
- PFI protests against verdict on Bhopal gas tragedy
- Popular Front of India Reaches Out to Flood Victims
- Popular Front of India reaches to flood victims in Karnataka and Andhra
- Popular Front of India expresses condolences for the Mangalore Plane Accident
- Emirates India Fraternity Forum to help Mangalore crash victim families
- The Hindu:Aid reaches from all quarters
- "`Create broad-based alliance of all oppressed sections'". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2007-02-18. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
- Alan Hart addressing in Empower India Conference 
- Aim for Empowerment through Constant Struggle - Advisor to South African
- Grand Start for Popular Front National Political Conference
- PFI Freedom Parade
- Freedom parade at Mettupalayam
- Popular Front's spearheaded 'Freedom Parade'
- Parade in Mettupalayam, Tamilnadu
- Udpui: PFI celebrates Independence Day
- Freedom Parade at Mangalapuram
- 80500.htm The Hindu: Freedom Parade Parade in Mettuppalayam
- Newfrontworld:freedom parade in mettupalayam
- "Kerala high court turns down Popular Front of India's freedom parade plea". 3 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "Popular Front of India is new face of Simi: Kerala govt". 26 Jul 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "PFI is banned outfit SIMI in another form, Kerala govt tells HC". 26 Jul 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- "PFI, NDF Involved in CPI(M), RSS Cadres' Murders: Kerala". 25 July 2012.
- "Front seeks greater representation for Muslims". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2011-11-28.
- "Karnataka Forum for Dignity men abducted, killed Hunsur boys for ransom". 23 June 2011.
- "Mysore double murder case: Six arrested". 23 June 2011.
- "College mourns for murdered students". 23 June 2011.
- "Six KFD activists held for Hunsur students’ murder". 27 June 2011.
- "State will urge Centre to ban KFD". 27 June 2011.
- Vishal murder: Two PFI activists held
- Stabbed Kannur ABVP Leader Succumbs to Injury
- ABVP activist who was stabbed dies
- "North-East people’s exodus continues". Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Northeast people indeed assaulted, threatened in Bangalore". Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "How HuJI, PFI lobbed the hate bomb with ease". Rediff. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Press Trust Of India (9 July 2010). "Propaganda CD suspected to be that of Al Queda seized". Hindustan Times.
- Lawson, Alastair (2010-07-08). "Family of Indian professor 'forgives' attackers". BBC News.
- "Gulf-bound persons under police scanner". Express News. 2010-07-09.
- Staff (2010-07-07). "Kerala prof attacker now threatens cop". Hindustan Times.
- Assault on Professor Joseph: graphic images of two more suspects released, KOCHI, 21 July 2010, thehindu.com
- "BJP demands ban on PFI, Kochi lecturer case be probed by NIA". Daily News & Analysis. 2010-06-12.
- "Police probing PFI's alleged links with LeT, al-Qaeda & Hizbul". Deccan Herald. 2010-09-06.
- "Kerala engineer forced to wear veil; protect her, HC tells police". 13 August 2010.
- Nelson, Dean (2009-11-09). "Handsome Muslim men accused of waging 'love jihad' in India". The Telegraph (London).
- "Kerala CM reignites 'love jihad' theory". The Times of India. 2010-07-26.
- "Karnataka CID finds no evidence of 'Love Jihad'". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2009-11-13.
- "Kerala police have no proof on ‘Love Jihad’". Deccan Herald. 2009-11-11.
- Staff Reporter (2010-04-23). "No love jihad movement in State'". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
- "Evaluate answer papers written in Malayalam: court". The Telegraph (Chennai, India). Thursday, 2 Dec 2010.
- Popular Front Of India
- Thejas Newspaper
- Create broad-based alliance of all oppressed sections, The Hindu, 18 Feb 2007
- Video summarizing the Empower India Conference