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Preparations complete to neutralise PFI in UP, says DGP

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Preparations complete to neutralise PFI in UP, says DGP Lucknow, Dec 31 (IANS) In wake of violent protests in the state against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Uttar Pradesh Police says it has devised a strategy to neutralise the Popular Front of India (PFI), seen as the instigator of bulk of the violence, and if all goes well, the organisation will not be able to counter the action.

While the Yogi Adityanath-led state government was all out for banning the PFI, but officials in the administration and the police contended that unless the outfit”s activities were curbed first, the violence would continue.

In an exclusive conversation with IANS over phone on Monday, state Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh said: “We arrested as many as 23 PFI activists from various violence-hit areas and this makes clear who was the primary instigator. We have got significant information from the arrested PFI members but cannot disclose it at this point in time.

“….much of this information is shocking and destabilising. First of all, we need peace and amity. If peace is there, then only can there be law and order.”

Asked why the UP Police was focussing on the PFI when violence also broke out in various cities of the country, including the national capital, where Jamia Nagar, Seelampur-Jafrabad, and Daryaganj were the hotspots, the state”s top police officer said: “When matters come to an head, it is necessary to tackle them. The state police has obtained enough evidence and witnesses to build a tight case for banning the organisation.”

To the point that a proposal to ban the PFI was doing the rounds around six months back but had remained inconclusive, he said that there had been talk about this, but he did not recall the matter much. “But now almost everything has been decided. The state police HQ will soon recommend to the government that the PFI be banned in public interest.”

Can the state government ban the PFI on the state police”s recommendation? To this, the DGP said: “It is not like this. We will write to the state government and on our recommendation, it will move the Union Home Ministry with the necessary evidence, based on which we are seeking a ban on this controversial organisation. We have enough material to move the Union Home Ministry for action against the PFI.”

He reiterated that the state police only decided to move ahead after obtaining solid evidence.

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