Ban on PFI cannot be supported: Owaisi

HYDERABAD — AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said though he always opposed the Popular Front of India’s approach, the ban on the radical outfit cannot be supported.

The PFI, which has allegedly been involved in violence and has “links” with global terror groups like ISIS, was banned by the Centre on Wednesday along with its several associates for five years following a crackdown against its leaders.

“While I have always opposed PFI’s approach and supported democratic approach, this ban on PFI cannot be supported,” Owaisi said in a series of tweets.

“Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned. SC has also held that mere association with an organisation is not enough to convict someone.”

“But a draconian ban of this kind is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. The way India’s electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under India’s black law, UAPA,” he added.

Owaisi further said: “Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA & will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the constitution.”

He also slammed Congress for making UAPA stringent. “We should remember that Congress amended UAPA to make it stringent & when BJP amended the law to make it even more draconian, Congress supported it . This case will follow timeline of Kappan, where any activist or journalist is randomly arrested & takes 2 years to even get bail,” the AIMIM chief tweeted.

“How come PFI is banned but organisations associated with convicts of Khaja Ajmeri bomb blasts aren’t? Why has govt not banned right wing majoritarian organisations?,” he asked. — (PTI)