Indian govt bans pro-independence group JKLF in occupied Kashmir

SRINAGAR: The Indian government on Friday banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a pro-independence group, for “promoting secessionist activities” in occupied Kashmir, the Washington Post reported. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs in its statement 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.” “JKLF is involved in anti-national and subversive activities intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India,” it added. The statement added that if JKLF's activities were not curbed, it was likely that the group would "continue advocating the secession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India". "The central government is of the opinion that having regard to the activities of JKLF, it is necessary to declare the JKLF to be an unlawful association with immediate effect," it added. Last month, JKLF leader Yasin Malik was arrested and charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA), which stipulated that a person can be jailed for up to two years without bail. Earlier in February, the Indian authorities banned the socio-religious organisation Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) in occupied Kashmir. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs in its statement had said they were banning JeI on the charges of supporting the freedom movement and pro-freedom groups. The notification said that the JI, if not banned, would continue advocating freedom of occupied Kashmir from India, propagate anti-India and pro-freedom sentiments and intensify the ongoing freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir. The situation in occupied Kashmir has worsened in the aftermath of the February 14 Pulwama attack which killed over 40 Indian soldiers.

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