Press Release issued by Amjad Shaik, General Secretary, Movement for Justice and Peace
The opposition against the state government ban of Popular Front in Jharkhand is becoming stronger and more wide spread, as per reports being received from different part of the country. The Jharkhand Government on 20th February 2018 has imposed a baseless ban on the Popular Front of India in the state using Article 16 of the CLA Act 1908 through a post on Jharkhand CM website. Today a group of 26 citizens that include former judges, ex-bureaucrats, social activists, political leaders and religious scholars in Maharashtra has come up against the ban order through a joint statement. Those who joined in raising the demand to withdraw the ban and stop harassments in Jharkhand include Justice P. B. Sawant (Retired Judge, Supreme Court), Justice Kolse Patel (Retired Judge, Mumbai High Court), S. M. Mushrif (Retired I.G. Police), Mujtaba Farooque (Ex-National President, Welfare Party of India), Shamsher Khan Pathan (National President, Awami Vikas Party), Niranjan Takle (Chief Editor Caravan Magazine, reporter CNN, IBN), Nawab Mallik (State Spokesman, Nationalist Congress Party), Sarfaraz Arzoo (Editor, Hindustan Urdu Daily), Shivaji Humberday, Shivraj Mukesh, Ganesh Shinde (Maratha Seva Sangh) and others.
They stated that imposing of ban is not only against the freedom of expression and freedom of association but also is against the articles of the constitution of India. They also stated that the ban on Popular Front of India by the Jharkhand Government is an open act of political vendetta against the organization, as the organization has been taking legal actions and raising voice against the hate speeches, acts of human rights violations, incidents of mob lynching and atrocities by the police in the state of Jharkhand.
Popular Front of India, as a response to the ban in Jharkhand has been running national level agitations and campaigns. In Maharashtra State Popular Front of India activists has been meeting different political, social, secular organizations and other dignitaries. The leaders belonging to various strata of society shared the view that the ban is intended to threaten the mass and to weaken dissent, protests against government and the power of judiciary. They called upon all democratic and secular forces who respect our constitution and rule of law to build united protests against the politics of banning dissenting voices and movements.