The Twitter account of Popular Front of India (PFI), the Islamic group has been banned by the government and several of its leaders have been withheld in India by the social media platform. Its Facebook page and Instagram profile are no longer available either. The organisation’s account, @PFIofficial, had around 81,000 followers. Twitter has withheld the handles of its chairperson, OMA Salam (@oma_salam), who had just under 50,000 followers, and general secretary, Anis Ahmed (@AnisPFI), who had nearly 85,000 followers.
The PFI Twitter takedown comes a day after the Union Home Ministry notified the five-year ban on the organisation and its affiliates over alleged “terror links”. The National Investigation Agency, which probes cases of pan-India importance, and the Enforcement Directorate, which tracks illicit money, have alleged that the PFI has links with the Islamic State terror group and held arms training camps. The PFI, whose student wing plans to go to court against the ban, denied these allegations but duly dissolved its units after the government action. Organisations covered by the ban under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) include Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women’s Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.