The Home Ministry has banned the Popular Front of India or PFI over terror links under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act by issuing a gazette notification late Tuesday night.
Here are profiles of some of its top leaders and office bearers who have also been arrested during nationwide raids carried out against them this month:
1. OMA Salam, PFI Chairman – Salam, an employee of the Kerala State Electricity Board, has been “suspended” and is facing departmental inquiry owing to his links with the PFI. He is also associated with the Rehab India Foundation (RIF), alleged to be a front of the PFI.
2. Anis Ahmed, national general secretary – Ahmed who studied in Bengaluru is an important “cog” for expanding the cyber activities and presence of the PFI. He was working with a global telecommunications company, from where he was suspended recently, and probe agencies found him to be “proactive” on social media, news channels and for making comments/reactions on current issues and is seen vocal/critical about the central government’s policies and governance.
3. P Koya, national executive council member – A former “active” member of the banned SIMI, he went to Qatar in 1986 to work at a private company for three years. He later worked as a lecturer at the Kozhikode University in Kerala. Koya acted as the director of Islamic Youth Centre (IYC), Kozhikode that propagates “Islamic ideology, which actually nurtures Islamic fundamentalism and Muslim militancy”, the probe agencies say.
4. EM Abdur Rahiman, national vice-chairman – Rahiman is a retired librarian from the Cochin University of Science and Technology located in Ernakulam district of Kerala. He has been a former president of SIMI. Federal agencies say he is a “very influential leader of PFI and also a decision maker”.
5. Afsar Pasha, national secretary – Pasha, a businessman, is an “active member” of the PFI since its formation in 2006.