Owaisi said it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. “The way India’s electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under India’s black law, UAPA,” Owaisi tweeted.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi condemned the five-year ban of the Popular Front of India, though he clarified that his stand is not in favour of PFI either. From his opposition to the UAPA, he said a draconian ban of this kind is dangerous as it is a ban on any Muslim who wishes to speak his mind. “The way India’s electoral autarky is approaching fascism, every Muslim youth will now be arrested with a PFI pamphlet under India’s black law, UAPA,” he tweeted. Also Read | Kerala Congress, IUML welcome PFI ban: ‘Which Islam has persuaded them to…?’
“Muslims have spent decades in prison before being acquitted by courts. I have opposed UAPA & will always oppose all actions under UAPA. It runs afoul the principle of liberty, which is part of basic structure of the constitution,” Owaisi tweeted. Also Read | Amit Shah bites the bullet, bans PFI and its affiliates for 5 years
Referring to the case of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan who was arrested in 2020 on his way to Hathras, Owaisi said this case will also follow the timeline of Kappan, where any activist or journalist is randomly arrested and takes 2 years to even get bail. Kappan was going to Hathras to report the gangrape and murder of a Dalit woman. He was booked under the UAPA by the Uttar Pradesh government. Kappan got bail in 2022 — after spending two years in jail.
“How come PFI is banned but organisations associated with convicts of Khaja Ajmeri bomb blasts aren’t? Why has govt not banned right wing majoritarian organisations?” Owaisi said.
Owaisi said he always opposed PFI’s approach but he can’t support the ban on the PFI. “Actions of some individuals who commit crime does not mean that the organisation itself must be banned,” the Hyderabad MP said.
The Centre on Wednesday banned PFI and eight other associated organisations for five years. It said PFI has clear terror links and though it operated as a socio-economic, political organisation, the organisations secretly worked to radicalise a particular section of the society.