PFI banned: A look at the who's who of the outlawed radical Islamic group

The Popular Front of India has now been banned by the Centre for five years for ‘terror activities’. This radical group comprises of top leaders and office bearers such as OMA Salam, P Koya, Anis Ahmed, Afsar Pasha and more

Press Trust of India September 29, 2022 09:55:05 IST
PFI banned: A look at the who's who of the outlawed radical Islamic group

With the PFI being banned, the members of the radical outfit have been criminalised and their funds have been frozen. PTI

New Delhi: 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:

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.

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, and news channels and for making comments on current issues and is seen as critical of the central government’s policies and governance.

P Koya, national executive council member

A former “active” member of the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), he went to Qatar in 1986 to work at a private company for three years. He later worked as a lecturer at 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.

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”.

Afsar Pasha, national secretary

Pasha, a businessman, is an “active member” of the PFI since its formation in 2006.

Abdul Wahit Sait, member of the national executive council

He hails from the Cutchi Memon community based in Shivajinagar, Bengaluru, and is a “founding member” of the radical Islamic organisation (PFI) and runs a software solutions enterprise.

Mohammed Shakib alias Shakif, national secretary (media and public relations)

A founding member of the PFI, he owns a real estate business.

Minarul Sheikh, president, PFI West Bengal

A PhD from Aligarh Muslim University, he conducts coaching classes and does research work.

Mohammed Asif, president, PFI Rajasthan

He initially joined Campus Front of India (CFI) while pursuing graduation and became its national general secretary. He was appointed PFI state vice-president in 2013-14. He is very “active” and “responsible” for the spread of organisation across the state in a proactive manner, the agencies said.

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