Suspected PFI members conspired to transform India into Islamic country: HC while denying bail

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Mumbai, Jun 11 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to grant bail to three alleged members of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), noting they had conspired to transform India into an Islamic country by 2047.

A division bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and Shyam Chandak rejected the bail pleas of the trio -- Razi Ahmed Khan, Unais Umar Khaiyyam Patel and Kayyum Abdul Shaikh -- and observed there was prima facie evidence against them.

They are accused of being members of the Popular Front of India (PFI), banned by the Centre in 2022, and indulging in conspiracy acts against the Government of India.

The court, in its order, said the accused persons conspired to overawe the government by use of criminal force.

"The first information report is self eloquent. They conspired to transform India into an Islamic country by 2047. They are not only propagators but actively intending to implement the Vision-2047 document of their organization (PFI)," the bench noted.

The accused also incited like-minded persons to join them to overawe the government by use of criminal force, it observed.

"There is overwhelming evidence to demonstrate that the appellants in connivance with other accused persons have systematically undertaken activities which are detrimental to the interest and integrity of the nation," the HC said.

The bench added that the accused persons participated in spreading hatred against the state and pushing anti-national agenda through various means of propaganda.

The bench noted that the accused persons shared a document on social media groups titled 'Vision - 2047'.

"Perusal of Vision-2047 document indicates that, it is a sinister plot and design to transform India into an Islamic State by adopting all possible methods mentioned therein," the HC maintained.

It is a conspiracy to commit horrendous acts perpetrated by the appellants pursuant to their conspiracy, amounts to conspire to overawe or to attempt to wage war against the Government of India, the bench added.

The court, while rejecting their bail pleas, maintained there was prima facie evidence against them.

According to the prosecution, the accused persons had an aim to foster hatred towards other religions and the Government of India and to create division among Indians.

It is alleged that the accused held various meetings to create hatred in the mind of people from Muslim community and to instigate them to wage a war against the Government of India.

Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had lodged a case against the suspected PFI members under the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between religious groups and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The prosecution case is that in June 2022, the accused persons and several others had attended a secret meeting of the PFI during which they highlighted various "atrocities" being committed against the Muslim community in India, including incidents of mob-lynching.

As per the prosecution, in the meeting it was emphasized that there was a need for unity in the Muslim community to "wage a war against the country by adopting any mode". PTI SP RSY