From Delhi riots to Hathras case: What is Popular Front of India (PFI), organisation accused of inciting violence?

A day after Uttar Pradesh police lodged at least 19 FIRs across the state on charges ranging from attempt to trigger caste conflict to sedition over the Hathras rape-murder case, four people, said to have links with alleged radical group Popular Front of India (PFI), were arrested at Mathura on Monday.

Police said they were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.

Cops said four were taken into custody at Mathura's Math toll plaza where the police were checking vehicles after receiving a tip-off that some suspicious people were on their way to Hathras from Delhi.

This is not the first time that law enforcement agencies in the country have found a PFI connection in an alleged conspiracy to trigger conflict. While they have been blamed in a score of cases, most recently for the riots in Bengaluru.

Here is all you need to know about PFI:

Several Muslim organisations based in south India, mainly Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD), National Development Front (NDF) and Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP) came together and formed PDI in 2006. The groups had first come together to discuss various issues related to the Muslim community, especially reservation in education and employment.

In its vision, PFI says Dalits, the tribals, the religious, the linguistic and cultural minorities, the backward classes and the women are denied their cultural and social space, making India one of the most backward areas in the world.

Popular Front of India is a move towards co-ordination and management of such efforts for the achievement of socio-economic, cultural and political empowerment of the deprived and the downtrodden and the nation at large, it says. The organisation says its vision is to try to establish an egalitarian society in which freedom, justice and security are enjoyed by all.

While the group claims to fight for all marginalised sections of the society, its cadre is largely comprised of Muslims.

The organisation has been accused earlier of multiple violent and extremist incidents, including in riots in Delhi and Bengaluru. The group has, however, denied all accusations

Allegations

The Popular Front of India (PFI) was accused of funding certain protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that took place across the country earlier this year. The Uttar Pradesh police had earlier sought a ban on the organisation.

Delhi Police also claimed that PFI was behind the conspiracy of riots in Delhi.

Most recently, Bengaluru Police hinted PFI role in August 11 DG Halli violence.

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