The Hindu Nationalist government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) in September 2022. The government accused the organization of indulging in “terror activities” and radicalizing Muslim youth to “subvert” democracy, a claim vehemently denied by its member and other activists. However, the ban is yet to pass the test of judicial scrutiny and whether the invocation of the draconian terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), is justified or not. Hundreds of members and activists linked to the organization were arrested across 20 Indian states, including Minraul Sheikh.
Activists and human rights defenders have expressed concerns, stating the ban attacks free speech and freedom of association. They also cited the anti-Muslim approach of the right-wing government and their hateful Hindutva ideology as reasons for the ban.
For years, PFI has been involved in relief work and forming alliances to counter the right-wing assertion of Hindu Nationalism dominating the political landscape.
Life and Activism
Minarul is a social activist and a doctrate in Islamic studies. He is national executive council member of PFI. He was also the head of PFI’s West Bengal unit and a mentor to its leaders in Assam and other northeastern states.
He was a prominent figure behind the anti-citizenship amendment bill protests in 2019–20. He is a key figure in the organization and has been vocal about the ruling establishment’s anti-minority policies
Not released yet.