The Social Democratic Party of India on Wednesday described the ban on the Popular Front of India and its associate organisations as a "direct blow to democracy".
In a statement quoting party president MK Faizy, the SDPI -- perceived as the political arm of PFI -- alleged that whoever spoke against the "wrong and anti-people policies of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) regime" have faced threats of arrests and raids.
The government on Wednesday banned PFI and several of its associates for five years under a stringent anti-terror law, accusing them of having "links" with global terror groups like ISIS.
Besides PFI, the organisations which were also declared banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act include Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women's Front, Junior Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala.
The statement posted on SDPI's website alleged that freedom of speech, protests and organisation have been ruthlessly suppressed by the regime going against the basic principles of the Indian constitution.
"The regime is misusing the investigation agencies and laws to silence the opposition and to scare the people from expressing the voice of dissent. An undeclared emergency is clearly visible in the country," it said.
Quoting Faizy, the statement said all secular parties and people "should commit themselves to oppose the dictatorial regime" and saving the democracy and values of the Indian constitution.