The Tamil Nadu Police have commenced sealing the offices of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in the state after Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu issued a notification terming the Popular Front and its associates as “Unlawful Associations”.
The Tamil Nadu state government has also delegated the powers under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 to the commissioners of police in the cities and district collectors in other areas.
In an order, the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary V. Irai Anbu said, ” The governor of Tamil Nadu hereby directs that all the powers of which are exercisable by the government of Tamil Nadu under sections 7 and 8 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in relation to the aforesaid unlawful association, namely Popular Front of India and its associates or affiliates or fronts including the organisations banned shall also be exercised by the commissioners of police in the cities and by the district collectors elsewhere.”
Notably, the frontal organisations of the Popular Front of India that have been banned from functioning for five years are Rehab India Foundation, National Women’s Front, All India Imams Council, Campus Front of India, Rehab Foundation, Kerala, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Confederation of Human Rights Organisations.
Tamil Nadu police, along with district collectors, have commenced sealing the offices of the banned organisation after the order of the Chief Secretary was served to them.
The Popular Front of India cadres are quiet and there has not been any protests while the offices in a few districts were sealed as those who shout slogans for the PFI would be charged immediately under the UAPA.
In Kerala, some PFI workers were arrested and charged under UAPA after they shouted slogans, and hence the PFI and SDPI cadres in Tamil Nadu are silent as if they are arrested by the police, they would be charged with sedition under the UAPA.