Popular Front of India, a radical Islamic political organization with a long and controversial history from across India has been given a free hand by some municipal corporations especially BMC and Pune Municipality for handling dead bodies of Muslims during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It is apparent that this is not a passing case of a faux pas by some junior government official but a deliberate, continuing, policy of the governments. Neither has the governments offered an official notification in this regard nor has it denied the policy.
This policy has proceeded without any change in spite of continued protests from opposition and civil society.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Pune municipality have for close to four months actively involved the PFI in funeral rites off the Muslims who passed away from COVID-19. The district administration has specifically invited this group and has passed orders instructing the health department to contact this organization.
PFI is a controversial Muslim organization with much controversy in its history. Of late, it has come under investigation for involvement either direct or indirect in the recent Delhi riots.
In March, 2020, a Delhi court sent Popular Front of India (PFI) Delhi Chief Parvez Ahmed and Secretary Mohammad Iliyas to 7-day custody of the Special Cell of Delhi Police for their alleged role in instigating the people during the Delhi riots.
Two of its members of this radical Islamist organisation were also among 10 Keralites who joined the Islamic State (IS) in 2018.
The following reports maybe considered that list PFI involvement in last rites of Muslims:
- April – 12 – 2020 – The district administration in Mumbai had conducted the training session for 35 to 40 PFI members at wanowrie ward office and gave directions to follow the protocol regarding burial of patients who have died due to COVID-19.
- June – 2 – 2020 – Ex CM of Maharashtra Fadnavis had posted a notice issued by the Public Health Department on May 18 wherein it had directed all hospital in-charges to contact the local police, local medical officers and four coordinators of PFI in case of the death of a Muslim coronavirus patient.
- June 4 2020 – PFI issues statement defending its role in the burials.
- July 7 2020 – PFI training workers in Mangaluru for burying Muslims who passed away from corona.
- July 17 2020 – PFI workers involved in burying the dead in Chamrajnagar – Karnataka.
This maybe contrasted with the cruel denial of access to the dead among the Hindus and Christians and finally who will survey the number of families whose members died due to Covid and the bodies handled by PFI members.