Mumbai: Following the ban on Popular front of India in Jharkand, An activists Get together program was held at Mumbai on 27th March 2018 , at Marathi Patrakar Bhavan, Azad Maidan, Mumbai to discuss the situation. Activists, representatives from various organisations, socio-political leaders and other dignitaries had attended this get together to show their solidarity with Popular Front of India. The get together was hosted on behalf of Popular Front of India, Maharashtra.
The representatives of following organizations were present in this get together:
Saeed choudhari, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI)
Amzad Shaikh, Alliance for Justice and Peace (AJP)
National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO)
Shaikh Salim, Welfare Party of India (WPI)
Aslam Gazi, Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR)
Salim Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH)
Sadique Qureshi, People’s Movement against UAPA
Kabir, Kala Manch
Sudhir Dawale, Republican Panther
Harshali Potdar, Samta Vidyarthi Aakhadi
Shamsher Khan Pathan, Awami Vikas Party
Zaid Shaikh, AMP
Salahuddin muzahid, Khairul umma
Mushataque patel, Quran the truth foundation
Mavji Rathod, Bamceff
Gautam kamble, Bharat Mukti Morch
Since the ban, on 20th February 2018, the activities of the organization were stopped in Jharkhand. But it is reported that members are being harassed and new cases were registered against the leaders and members alleging continuation of the activities. Two persons were arrested and remanded after the ban.
Leaders had strongly condemned the harassment carried out by police and demand the state government to revoke the ban and withdraw of the false cases on the cadres of Popular Front of India.
Leaders observed that, Jharkhand state government has undemocratically banned Popular Front of India, in the state under the section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, a repressive colonial law.
The Jharkhand BJP government alleges ‘extremist links’ in southern states, which the governments of Kerala and Karnataka had recently denied that there is no reason to ban Popular Front and that any request to ban Popular front was not sent to the central government. Hence the Jharkhand government imposing a ban based on reports from southern states is unreasonable and Baseless.
Leaders present in the get together believes that, The real reason behind the banning must be Popular front’s consistent stand against communal fascism and atrocities by government agencies. Ever since the declaration of the organization in the state in 2015, members have stood in the forefront of fight against human rights violations such as hate speeches, lynching incidents and police atrocities. It is well known that BJP Government of Jharkhand and police have been unhappy with the activists of Popular Front for highlighting the multiple lynching cases in the state. Popular Front was involved in filing cases by the relatives of the victims in lynching incidents like that in Jamtara, Latehar, Ramgarh and Seraikela. An FIR was filed against the hate speech of BJP Leader Hisabi Roy in Pakur. At the time of the declaration of ban, the organization was fighting several cases, two cases against police atrocities, one against SP of Pakur and the other against SP of Jamtara. By enabling victims to fight through democratic and legal means, Popular Front was building confidence among the victims and the weaker sections and was also setting a new model for fighting injustices. It is because of this reason that Popular Front is targeted in Jharkhand.
Leaders in the Get Together observed that, The ban is a ploy used by the state government to suppress democratic forms of protest and dissent. The act of imposing ban on particular organisation that stands for people’s rights, is a warning to all civil groups and mass movements. The fact is that the governments in states and centre do not tolerate dissent or any ideology opposing their agenda. Not only in Jharkhand, BJP government in other states also employ the tactic of intimidation by imposing false cases against leaders with their communal agenda. The FIR filed in U.P. against All India Muslim Personal Law Board spokesperson and Islamic Scholar Maulana Khalillur Rahman Sajjad Nomani is another example.
It is a sign of great hope that human rights activists, political leaders and community organisations from all over India have come forward to condemn the ban and pledge support to Popular Front.