PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Friday said ban on the Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front was a “detrimental step” that will turn Kashmir into an open air prison. The JKLF was banned on Friday for “promoting” secession of the militancy-hit state from the Union of India, officials said in New Delhi.
“Detrimental steps like these will only turn Kashmir into an open air prison,” Mehbooba said in a tweet. Banning the outfit under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after a high-level meeting on security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials said the Centre is of the opinion that the JKLF is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. They said the outfit claims “secession of a part of the Indian territory from the union” and supports terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose.
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Mufti said, “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?” she asked.
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, the daughter of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, and gunning down of four IAF personnel in Srinagar.
The JKLF was founded by Pakistani national Amanullah Khan in mid-1970 at Birmingham in the United Kingdom and came into prominence in 1971 when its member hijacked an Indian Airlines plane flying from Srinagar to Jammu. 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.