Assam CM asks Centre to ban PFI for ‘radicalisation, not because of hijab issue'

  • Last week, Assam chief minister Himata Biswa Sarma said that Muslim women do not need “hijab, but education”, and also called the Congress party for sponsoring “political Islam”.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has called for a complete ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) immediately. (ANI Photo) (Rupjyoti Sarma)
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has called for a complete ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) immediately. (ANI Photo) (Rupjyoti Sarma)
Updated on Feb 19, 2022 09:30 PM IST
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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Swati Bhasin, New Delhi

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has asked the Centre to put “a complete ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) immediately, alleging the Islamist group's “direct involvement with subversive activities and radicalisation”.

The statement by Sarma comes amid the hijab controversy that started in Karnataka. However, the chief minister asserted that his stand on the PFI is “not because of the hijab issue.”

“Assam has demanded an immediate complete ban on PFI (Popular Front of India) from the central govt, not because of the hijab issue, it's their democratic right, but because of their direct involvement with subversive activities and radicalization,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has asked the Centre to put “a complete ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) immediately, alleging the Islamist group's “direct involvement with subversive activities and radicalisation”.

The statement by Sarma comes amid the hijab controversy that started in Karnataka. However, the chief minister asserted that his stand on the PFI is “not because of the hijab issue.”

“Assam has demanded an immediate complete ban on PFI (Popular Front of India) from the central govt, not because of the hijab issue, it's their democratic right, but because of their direct involvement with subversive activities and radicalization,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.|#+|

Last week, Sarma said that Muslim women do not need “hijab, but education”, while blaming the Congress party of playing “divisive politics”.

“How would a teacher determine if a student is learning the lectures, if they’re wearing a hijab. No one said they wanted to wear a hijab three years ago," he had said.

Watch | Himanta blasts Cong on Hijab row; 'teachers won't know if students are learning'

The chief minister said there are two types of Islam – “one is religious and the other is political, and the latter is Congress sponsored”. He also questioned the emergence of hijab as an issue in an educational institution.

Meanwhile, Sarma's call to ban the PFI comes two days after the Islamist group held public meetings in Kerala, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu over the hijab controversy.

PFI workers who attended the meeting in Rajasthan targeted the RSS and other Hindu outfits, and raised slogans such as “Hijab par hamla, nagrik adhikaro par hamla (attack on hijab is attack on civilian rights)”, according to PTI.

Notably, the hijab matter is being heard in the Karnataka high court, with the next hearing to be held on Monday.

On Friday, advocate general Prabhuling Navadgi, representing the state government, informed the bench that its stand is against considering hijab an essential religious practice of Islam.

A three-judge bench of chief justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, justice JM Khazi and justice Krishna S Dixit, is hearing the matter.

A batch of petitions have been lodged by some Muslim girls against the ban on wearing headscarves inside Karnataka classrooms.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022