Centre bans Yasin Malik-led JKLF, Mehbooba asks ‘what will this achieve’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/yasin-malik-led-jklf-banned-under-anti-terror-law-uapa-5638722/

Centre bans Yasin Malik-led JKLF, Mehbooba asks ‘what will this achieve’

Yasin Malik JKLF ban: This is the second organisation in Jammu and Kashmir which has been banned this month. Earlier, the Centre had banned the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir.

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Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Yasin Malik.

The Yasin Malik-led Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was banned by the Centre under the anti-terror law on Friday. Its chief Yasin Malik, who was booked under the Public Safety Act, has been under arrest since February 22 and at present lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.

After a high-level meeting on security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government decided to ban the outfit on grounds that it is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

Officials said JKLF was banned under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for alleged promotion of secessionist activities in the state.

Addressing reporters on the same, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said, “The central government today declared JKLF as an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. This is in accordance with our policy of zero tolerance against terrorism.”

He added, “The JKLF has been at the forefront of separatist activities in J-K and was involved in the killings of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989 leading to their exodus from the valley.”

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Listing out the cases that have been registered against the outfit, Gauba said, “FIRs have been registered by Jammu and Kashmir Police against JKLF. Two cases, including the case of the murder of an IAF personnel, were registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The National Investigation Agency has also registered a case which is under investigation.”

Hitting out at the Centre over its decision to ban JKLF, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Yasin Malik renounced violence as a way of resolving J&K issue a long time ago. He was treated as a stakeholder in a dialogue initiated by then PM Vajpayee ji. What will a ban on his organisation achieve? Detrimental steps like these will only turn Kash into an open air prison.”

Speaking on similar lines, Hurriyat Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted, “Strongly denounce the ban on JKLF after JeI. Such anti-Kashmir tactics will not change the reality of the Kashmir issue nor the urgency to resolve it.’

Questioning the “timing of the bans”, National Conference spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said, “We, as a party, never favoured bans. Besides the timing of these bans, close to the elections is suspicious. And the question must be asked to those who have been friends with the BJP for the last few years and continue to remain so. Those who praised PM Modi are the ones who owe the people an explanation.”

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, “For four-and-a-half-years, Yasin Malik isn’t a threat, Jamaat Islami isn’t a threat, Pakistan National Day is a function that must be attended. Now, suddenly once an election is announced, an immediate u-turn is executed.”

This is the second organisation in Jammu and Kashmir which has been banned this month. Earlier, the Centre had banned the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir.