Why the UP Police Claim About PFI Organising Anti-CAA Protests is Hard to BelieveJanuary 2, 2020
The Uttar Pradesh police claims that the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in the state were engineered by the Kerala-based radical Islamist organisation, PFI (Popular Front of India). That claim, however, runs into several serious logical inconsistencies and difficulties, raising doubts on its veracity.
The violence left at least 19 people dead and nearly 300 policeman injured (the UP DGP has claimed many of them have firearm injuries). Over 1,000 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement and over 100 notices have been issued for recovery of damages to public property.
The police have arrested PFI’s state head Wasim, besides 25 workers, and sought a ban on the outfit from the Union home ministry. For all we know, the claim of their involvement might be true. However, if it is indeed so, the question is what the state intelligence department and the Intelligence Bureau were doing all these years. How is it that the PFI – which until last year was believed to have a strong presence only in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, with links in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, West Bengal and Jharkhand – has developed such an effective organisation and resources in UP, while the intelligence community remained blissfully unaware?
Let us face it, if the PFI has been able to mastermind, instigate and organise violent protests on such a large scale, both in terms of their geographical spread and intensity, this requires several prerequisites. First, they would need a huge organisation with considerable outreach. A few masterminds, however intelligent they be, would find it extremely difficult to pull off such a feat using, say, their mobile phones, and sitting in some office or in a university, as the police claim.