The Narendra Modi government has banned the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) led by separatist leader Yasin Malik under the anti-terror law. The Union Home Secretary, Rajiv Guha said on Friday that the Centre has declared the JKLF as an unlawful association under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. "This is in accordance with a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism followed by govt," he stated.
The ban comes nearly a month after the central government banned Jamaat-e-Islami, a socio-political organisation alleging it of spreading unrest in the Kashmir valley.
The official statement by the Indian government stated that there are 37 FIRs registered against JKLF by the J&K Police. The Central Bureau of Investigation has also registered two separate cases against JKLF including the killing of four unarmed Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel. The National Investigation Agency has also filed a separate case against Yasin Malik's organisation.
The JKLF is also said to be involved in the kidnapping of the daughter of the former Union Home Minister, Mufti Sayeed, Rubaiyya Sayeed, triggering the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s, which is said to be masterminded by Yasin Malik.
The central government has also accused JKLF of fomenting trouble in Kashmir by actively raising funds to support stone pelting activities in the valley. It further said that the Yasin Malik led group is also engaged in promoting anti-India feelings among the people of Kashmir, which is detrimental to the country's territorial integrity.
After the 1987 State Assembly elections in the state, which were believed to be rigged, a group of youth including Yasin Malik crossed over to Pakistan to get arms training for initiating a rebellion against the Indian state. On their return, Yasin Malik along with several top militants was involved in several incidents of kidnappings, attacks on security forces and Pandit kidnappings in the early 1990s.
Yasin was soon arrested and later released in 1994. By then, a majority of his co-militants were either killed or behind the wars. Yasin led JKLF propounded a pro-independence ideology among the Kashmiris during the peak of insurgency which did not go down well with Pakistan and the militant outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen.
In fact, an internal tussle between Hizbul Mujahideen and JKLF led to the killings of Yasin Malik's workers. Soon, Yasin announced that he would give up the path of violence and said that he would follow the "footpath of Mahatma Gandhi" and adopt a peaceful method of resistance.
When confronted on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, Yasin said that he believes in the peaceful return of all Kashmiri migrant Hindu families.
The fact remains that none of the successive governments in J&K took any step to ban the controversial JKLF. During various peace-resolutions/dialogues, Yasin Malik was one of the representatives who had met the former Prime MInisters Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh.
Yasin's relations with Pakistan also improved and in 2005 he was allowed to visit there by the Indian government.
J&K politicians condemn the JKLF ban
FormerJ&K Minister, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah even questioned the timings of the ban on JKLF, Jammat-e-Islami by the Narendra Modi led government, calling it a vote-ban appeasement policy by the BJP.
For 4 1/2 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.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 22, 2019
Former Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti alleged that Modi led government is hell bent on creating trouble in Kashmir by attacking leaders like Yasin Malik who have shunned violence.
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. — Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 22, 2019