A day after the government banned the Yasin Malik-led Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for “promoting” secession, officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs said the government had acted on reports from intelligence agencies and J&K Police about the alleged role of JKLF in anti-India activities.
“The banning of JKLF and other such outfits is a sign that the Centre will not tolerate separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, while it keeps its doors open for all those peace-loving Kashmir people for a dialogue,” an MHA official said on condition of anonymity.
JKLF is part of the Joint Resistance Leadership which includes S A S Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference. JKLF was the first outfit to pick up arms in the Valley but denounced its activities and later joined the dialogue process in 2000 with the Centre.
The ministry had cited the outfit’s role in a series of terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, the first in 1988 when the group used explosives to blast three government buildings, including the Telegraph Office in Srinagar. The ministry also pointed to JKLF’s role in the killing of Mohammad Yousuf, a local leader of National Conference in Srinagar, on August 17, 1989. The outfit targeted a Kashmiri Pandit for the first time on September 14, 1989 by killing state BJP vice-president Pandit Tika Lal Taploo in front of several people, they said.
The notification issued by MHA banning JKLF said the organisation is involved in anti-national and subversive activities intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. “JKLF is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in J&K and elsewhere,” it said.
Malik is at present lodged in Kot Balwal jail in Jammu, and is likely to face trial in the three-decade-old case of kidnapping of Rubaya Sayeed and gunning down of four IAF personnel in Srinagar.
Separatists said the Centre’s decision to ban JKLF was “undemocratic” and “political vendetta”.
The JRL called for a general strike on Sunday to protest against the ban imposed by the government on the JKLF. “The Government of India’s decision of banning the JKLF for five years is highly authoritarian, autocratic and pure political vendetta,” the JRL said in a statement.