India’s Hindu nationalist government banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) in September 2022 for five years. Hundreds of PFI leaders, members, and activists were arrested in the widespread crackdown by the federally controlled agencies across 20 Indian states.
The Indian Home Ministry accused the group of ‘radicalising’ a specific community and a significant threat to national security. The allegation has been made the central narrative to invoke anti-terror legislation, Unlawful Prevention Activities (UAPA).
Human rights organizations have criticized the restriction, claiming it blatantly violates both the right to free association and federalism. The Hindu Nationalist government has historically suppressed Muslim viewpoints on the grounds of “terror links and national security” by invoking draconian laws.
Life and Activism
Abubacker is an Arabic language teacher and the former chairman of PFI. He travelled across Kerala state to build local-level units of the National Development Front (NDF), a Muslim organization developed in 1994.
He encouraged the local leaders to protest against human rights violations in Kerala. His activism took him to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka state, where he collaborated with local organizations – Manitha Neethi Pasarai and Karnataka Forum for Dignity – which later merged with NDF to form PFI in 2006.
A former trade union leader still calls Abubacker the man who “built an outfit out of nothing.”
Not released yet.