The Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front was banned on Friday for a series of violent acts and being in the forefront of separatist activities in the militancy-hit state since 1988, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said.
Listing out its subversive and violent activities, Gauba said the JKLF spearheaded the separatist ideology in Kashmir Valley and the action was taken following the 'zero tolerance' policy of the central government against terrorism.
"Murders of Kashmiri Pandits by JKLF in 1989 triggered their exodus from the valley. Malik was the mastermind behind the purging of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir Valley and is responsible for their genocide.
"The JKLF has many serious cases registered against it. This organisation is responsible for murder of four Indian Air Force personnel and kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the V P Singh government," he told a press conference in New Delhi after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security took the decision to ban the separatist group.
Gauba said the central government has followed the policy of 'zero tolerance' against terrorism and has acted strongly against terrorists and the securities forces have been given free hand to deal with terrorism.
"The central government, in its pursuit of strong action against terrorism, has today declared JKLF (Yasin faction) as an unlawful association under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967," he said.
Gauba said the central government is committed to relentlessly pursuing the policy of curbing the activities of secessionist organisations which are threat to the unity and integrity of the country and the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate are taking strong action against these organisations.
"The JKLF is also responsible for illegal funnelling of funds for fomenting terrorism. The JKLF is actively involved in raising of funds and its distribution to Hurriyat cadres and stone-pelters to fuel unrest in Kashmir Valley as well as for subversive activities.
"Activities of the JKLF pose a serious threat to the security of the country and are prejudicial to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India. The organisation has been actively and continuously encouraging feelings of enmity and hatred against the lawfully established government as well as armed rebellion," he said.
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 and gunning down of four Indian Air Force 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.
A total of 37 first information reports have been registered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police against JKLF and two cases, including that of murder of IAF personnel, were registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The NIA has also registered a case against the JKLF, which is under investigation. It is evident from these that JKLF continues to be actively engaged in supporting and inciting secessionist and terrorist activities.
The organisation was also involved in the kidnapping and killing of Ravindra Mhatre, an Indian diplomat posted the UK, in 1984. A week later, India executed Maqbool Bhat, a JKLF activist, who had been sentenced to death.
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.
Gauba said the review of security of Jammu and Kashmir-based separatists would continue. The government withdrew security of several separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir after a review recently.