Statement issued in the Press Meet at Mumbai Press Club
Jharkhand state government has banned Popular Front of India, in the state under section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908. The ban was announced by the state government through a press release appeared in the official website of the state chief minister on 20th February 2018. The Jharkhand government had nothing to quote against the organization in the state of Jharkhand as reason for ban. They had to rely on some fake reports about the organisation that are related to the southern states.
Since the ban, the activities of the organization are stopped in Jharkhand. But it is reported that our members are being harassed and new cases were registered against some leaders and members alleging continuation of the activities. Two persons are arrested and remanded after the ban. We condemn the harassment carried out by police and demand the state government to revoke the ban and withdraw of the false cases on our cadres.
While the Jharkhand government alleges ‘extremist links’ in southern states, the governments of Kerala and Karnataka had recently stated that there is no reason to ban Popular Front and that no request to ban Popular front was sent to the central government. Hence the Jharkhand government imposing a ban based on reports from southern states is unreasonable.
The real reason of Jharkhand government banning Popular Front of India is our consistent stand against communal fascism and atrocities by government agencies. Ever since the declaration of the organization in the state in 2015, our members have stood in the forefront of fight against human rights violations such as hate speeches, lynching incidents and police atrocities.
It is well known that BJP Government of Jharkhand and its police have been unhappy with the activists of Popular Front for highlighting the multiple lynching cases in the state. Popular Front was involved in filing cases by the relatives of the victims in lynching incidents like that in Jamtara, Latehar, Ramgarh and Seraikela.
An FIR was filed against the hate speech of BJP Leader Hisabi Roy in Pakur. At the time of the declaration of ban, the organization was fighting several cases, two cases against police atrocities, one against SP of Pakur and the other against SP of Jamtara. By enabling victims to fight by democratic and legal means, Popular Front was building confidence among the victims and the weaker sections and was also setting a new model for fighting injustices. It is because of this reason that Popular Front is targeted in Jharkhand.
The ban is a ploy used by the state government to suppress democratic forms of protest and dissent. The act of imposing ban on particular organisation that stands for people’s rights, is a warning to all civil groups and mass movements. The fact is that the governments in states and centre do not tolerate dissent or any ideology opposing their agenda. Not only in Jharkhand, BJP government in other states also employ the tactic of intimidation by imposing false cases against leaders with their communal agenda. The FIR file in U.P. against All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesperson and Islamic Scholar Maulana Khalillur Rahman Sajjad Nomani is another example.
It is hopeful that human rights activists, political leaders and community organisations from all over India have come forward to condemn the ban and pledge support to Popular Front. In this regard get together and solidarity programs are being arranged throughout India. As a part of this nationwide campaign we are organising an ‘Activist Get-Together’ on 27th March 2018 from 05:00 pm to 08:00 pm at Marathi Patrakar Bhavan, Azad Maidan, Mumbai to discuss the situation, create concern, get advice and gain support.
We therefore request you to kindly attend this get together and show your concern, support and solidarity to our fight for constitutional rights.
Press Conference addressed by:
- E M Abdul Rahiman,
Member, National Executive Council, Popular Front of India
- Syed Yusuf Sadath, State President, Popular Front of India
- Meraj Ansari, State General Secretary, Popular Front of India
Mumbai District Convener
Popular Front of India