By Special correspondent
New Delhi: Prominent social, religious and political leaders of several parties on Wednesday expressed solidarity with the social organization Popular Front of India and strong “indignation and condemnation” on the raids carried out by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently on the offices and residences of the Front leaders.
They issued a joint statement to the media to vent their ire on the raids stating that they were shocked by the way Enforcement Directorate carried out raids in the offices of a legally and democratically working organization and the houses of its leaders.
“This is another sign of BJP government becoming increasingly authoritarian by using central agencies as their pawns against political opponents and dissenting voices,” they added.
Leaders also demanded that the central government must end the “politically motivated targeting” of democratically working social movements and human rights defenders.
Every time a popular outrage like Hathras or farm protest breaks out, there have been attempts by the BJP governments to spin false narratives dragging the name of Popular Front into it in order to divert attention of the people, they pointed out.
The Text of the Joint statement as follows:
“We, the undersigned, are shocked by the way Enforcement Directorate carried out raids in the offices of a legally and democratically working organization and the houses of its leaders. Eight state offices of Popular Front of India and the houses of its national leaders including its Chairman and General Secretary were concurrently raided without any rhyme or reason. This probably is the first time ED is targeting a social movement in this manner across the nation. Officials, without following procedures, abruptly broke into houses when only women and children were inside and remained there for hours, leaving them shocked and traumatized. This is another sign of BJP government becoming increasingly authoritarian by using central agencies as their pawns against political opponents and dissenting voices.
Every time a popular outrage like Hathras or farm protest breaks out, there have been attempts by the BJP governments to spin false narratives dragging the name of Popular Front into it. This has been a typical modus operandi employed by the center to divert national attention from the real issues. For the past two decades the organization has been the subject to several such false allegations and has come out clean at every instance. Popular Front, being a transparent organization, had already informed the authorities that they are open to any investigation, so this is another attempt to malign the organization.
The BJP government now stands exposed with its insecurities and intolerance to any form of dissent and criticism of its policies.
We demand central government to end the politically motivated targeting of democratically working social movements and human rights defenders. We also demand the govt refrain from misusing central agencies and constitutional institutions to serve their vested interests.”
The statement was signed by:
1 -Maulana Wali Rahmani- General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board
2- Navaid Hamid – President All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat
3- Justice B G Kolse Patil, former judge of the Bombay High Court
4 -Hazrat Sajjad Nomani- Member of Working Executive Committee All India Muslim Personal Law Board
5 -Hazrat Syed Sawar Chishti, Khadim Dargah Ajmer Sharif
6 -Moulana Umrain Mahfooz Rahmani, National Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board
7 -MK Faizy , National President, Social Democratic Party of India.
8 -Syed Mujtaba Farooq, Director Public Relations & Member Central Advisory Council, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
9 -Lenin Raghuvanshi, Gwangju Human Rights awardee
10 -Bijendra Singh, former ADGP UP.
11-Mrs Raj Bala Sharma, Vice President, Brahmin Sabha, Haryana
12 -Natthu Singh, Vice President, Jat Mahasabha
13 -DC Kapil , President, All India Dalit Muslim United Morcha
14 -Nandita Narain, Associate Professor, St. Stephen College, Delhi University
15 -Nishant Verma- Renowned National political analyst
16 -Bittu K R, WSS
17-Manik Samajda, General Secretary, Bangladesh Bharat Pakistan People’s Forum (Bharat Chapter)
18 -Tara Rai, Democracy Collective,
19-K.K. Ray, Advocate High Court, Allahabad
20-Gopal Mishra, Activist and Journalist.
21-Ramesh Kumar, Advocate, High Court Allahabad
22 -Rajiv Yadav, General Secretary, Rihai Manch