Centre planning to ban hardline and moderate Hurriyat factions, final call yet to be taken: Report

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Updated: August 23, 2021 9:11 AM

Once the ban comes into effect, the security agencies will be allowed to arrest any office bearer for being associated with the Hurriyat, and block flow of funds. 

Once the ban comes into effect, the security agencies will be allowed to arrest any office bearer for being associated with the Hurriyat, and block flow of funds. (Express Photo)

The Centre is considering a ban on both the factions of the All Party Hurriyat Conference under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), The Indian Express reported quoting government sources on Sunday. 

Once the ban comes into effect, the security agencies will be allowed to arrest any office bearer for being associated with the Hurriyat, and block flow of funds. 

The report quoted sources in the Union Home Ministry saying that discussions to declare both the hardline and moderate factions of the Hurriyat as “unlawful association” have started. Ashraf Sehrai leads the hardline faction whereas the moderate faction is led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. 

The sources further said that a “final call will be taken at the highest level in the government” after the security agencies, including the Jammu and Kashmir Police, National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate, provide evidence and intelligence.

The government was clear that those causing trouble in the Valley must be under immense pressure, they added. The planned move is in line with the government’s recent decisions to remove government officials with ‘separatist mindset’ in the Union Territory and denying government jobs to stone pelters.  

However, certain quarters in the security apparatus have termed the planned move as a “flogging a dead horse”. “Ever since its leaders have been jailed in Delhi, Hurriyat has been practically non-functional. Even their press releases are issued from Pakistan,” a senior official in the security agency was quoted as saying.

In 2019, the government banned the Jamaat-e-Islami and the JKLF under the UAPA. Till date, the NIA has arrested 18 separatist leaders from Kashmir including those from the Hurriyat in a case of terror funding. In February 2018, the agency filed a chargesheet in the case against 12 people, including Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin.

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