In September 2022, the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI). Several members of the organization were arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), citing the “anti-terror” and illegal activities.
Maulana Irfan Daulat Nadvi is an activist and member of the Popular Front of India (PFI). The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad arrested him on November 2022 from Malegaon, Maharashtra, for his alleged involvement in “anti-national activities.” He became a member of PFI in 2019 and state president of the Imam council in 2021. Nadvi has advocated for democracy, the rule of law, and minority rights under the ambit of the Indian Constitution.
He has been outspoken about Muslim women’s right to wear the headscarf since the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led Karnataka government banned the headscarf in educational institutions. He led various events as the state president of the All India Imam Council to sensitize the community on socio-political issues and judicial accountability in upholding the rights enshrined under the constitution.
As an activist, Maulana Nadvi has been an opponent of the Hindutva ideology. He is known for his activism at the grass-roots level and has been a strong critic of majoritarian appeasement by the rightwing state and federal government.
The Police accused him of conducting meetings with the arrested Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders who were imprisoned in September 2022 in a nationwide crackdown. Human rights and civil liberties organizations have condemned the arrest, describing it as an arbitrary witch hunt of Muslim leaders and accusing the government of suppressing dissent.
Charges and Allegations
Arrested under Section 121 A (conspiracy to commit offences punishable by Section 121), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony); UAPA, 120 (criminal conspiracy).
Not released yet.