GUWAHATI, Sept 26 - The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is keeping a close watch on the activities of the Popular Front of India (PFI), a Kerala based organization, in the North East region, particularly in Assam and Manipur and there is apprehension that the organization may try to create tension in Assam on the issue of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that the PFI managed to make inroads in Assam following the ethnic clashes in the BTAD areas in 2012 and since then, the activities of the organization was noticed in the State. Sources said that according to inputs available with the security agencies, the activities of the organization in Assam have increased in recent times, which has become a matter of concern for the Government.
Sources revealed that there have been definite inputs that the PFI organized summer camps in Goalpara district in the last two to three years. The security agencies managed to collect �documentary evidence� of the teachings in the camps and it was found that the teachings are different for the new and old members. �Though the PFI calls itself a social organization working for the well being of the people and in fact, worked during natural calamities and other such disasters, the teachings in the camps proved otherwise and the oath given to the members of the organization indicate the fundamentalist nature of the organization,� sources added.
The PFI�s activities in Assam were first noticed in Dhubri district when a large number of people from Kokrajhar fled to Dhubri following the clashes in the BTAD and there is apprehension that the organization managed to get into the Barak valley districts as well.
Giving background of the PFI, sources said that the organization was formed in Kerala after the Students� Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) was banned by the Government of India. Initially, the activities of the organization was limited to only the south Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu but in recent times, the activities of the PFI have spread to other parts of the country. According to information available with the MHA, more than a hundred youths from India have left for Syria and Afghanistan to join the jehadi forces and at least half of them have links with the PFI. �We do not know whether all of them are members of the PFI but we have definite proof that they are maintaining links with several leaders of the PFI,� sources added.