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Popular Front of India

  • Published
    23rd Sep, 2022

The National Investigation Agency recently launched a massive nationwide search operation in connection with anti-terror activities.


What is the Popular Front of India?

  • The PFI was created in 2007 through the merger of three Muslim organisations in southern India,
  • the National Democratic Front in Kerala,
  • the Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and
  • the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu
  • 2006: A decision to bring the three outfits together was taken in November 2006 at a meeting in Kozhikode in Kerala.
  • 2007: The formation of the PFI was formally announced at a rally in Bengaluru during what was called the “Empower India Conference” on February 16, 2007.
  • The PFI, which emerged in the aftermath of the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), has projected itself as an organisation that fights for the rights of minorities, Dalits, and marginalised communities.
  • It has frequently targeted the alleged anti-people policies of the Congress, the BJP, and the JD-S in Karnataka, even as these mainstream parties have accused one another of being in cahoots with the PFI to gather the support of Muslims at the time of elections.
  • The PFI has itself never contested elections. It has been involved in carrying out social and Islamic religious work among Muslims on the lines of the work done by right-wing groups such as the RSS, VHP, and Hindu Jagaran Vedike among the Hindu community.
  • The PFI does not maintain records of its members, and it has been difficult for law enforcement agencies to pin crimes on the organisation after making arrests.

What is the NIA?

  • It is a central agency. It is mandated to investigate the:
    • offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states
    • offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations
  • Establishment: The NIA was constituted in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in November 2008. The agency came into existence on December 31, 2008, and started its functioning in 2009. 
  • Applicability: The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country.
  • Crimes: These include terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders.
    • The agency has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in such offences.
  • Headquartered in Delhi, the NIA has its branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Chennai, Imphal, Bengaluru and Patna.


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