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Govt bans Masarat Alam faction of Muslim League Jammu Kashmir

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NEW DELHI, Dec 27: A faction of Muslim League Jammu Kashmir, led by separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat, was on Wednesday declared a banned organisation by the government under the stringent anti-terror law.

The ban comes as a response to the outfit’s involvement in anti-national and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, with the intent to create a reign of terror in the country, the Union Home Ministry said.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while announcing the ban under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, emphasised that the Modi government’s message is clear that those who act against the unity, sovereignty, and integrity of the nation will face the full wrath of the law and will not be spared.

“The Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) is declared as an ‘Unlawful Association’ under UAPA. This organisation and its members are involved in anti-national and secessionist activities in J&K, supporting terrorist activities, and inciting people to establish Islamic rule in J&K,” Shah said in a post on ‘X’.

Masarat Alam Bhat is known for his anti-India and pro-Pakistan propaganda.

Bhat became the chairman of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference following the death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Currently, he is incarcerated.

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The Union Home Ministry, in a notification, stated that the objectives of the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) are to attain freedom for Jammu and Kashmir from India, merge it with Pakistan, and establish Islamic rule.

The organisation’s members have been involved in secessionist activities, raising funds through various sources, including Pakistan and its proxy organisations, to support terrorist activities and sustain stone-pelting on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

The home ministry emphasised that the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) and its members show disrespect towards the constitutional authority and setup of the country.

Their unlawful activities undermine the integrity, sovereignty, security, and communal harmony of India.

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Additionally, there have been indications of the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) having linkages with banned terrorist organisations.

The outfit and its members have been supporting terrorist activities with the intent to create terror in the country, thereby endangering its security and public order.

Their anti-national activities demonstrate disregard and disrespect for the constitutional authority and sovereignty of India, the ministry said.

The Central government believes that immediate action is necessary against the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) to curb its unlawful activities, which pose a threat to the territorial integrity, security, and sovereignty of the country.

The outfit is likely to continue advocating the secession of Jammu and Kashmir from India, promoting false narratives, and inciting anti-national sentiments among the people of the region, which could disrupt public safety.

Therefore, exercising the powers conferred by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central government has declared the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) as an unlawful association with immediate effect, the ministry said.

The ban will remain in effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the official gazette, unless otherwise ordered.

Bhat has been in jail since 2010 for his alleged involvement in violent protests in the Kashmir valley.

His release in 2015 became the first impediment in PDP-BJP alliance when the then chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed got him released immediately after taking oath.

Under pressure from its ally BJP, the then state government had to rearrest him on charges of sedition and waging war against the state after allegedly raising pro-Pakistan slogans at a rally.

Bhat was accused of playing a key role in organising violent protests in Kashmir in 2010, which resulted in the deaths of over 100 youths.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the guidance of Home Minister Amit Shah, the government has maintained a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism, the ministry said.

This year alone, four organisations have been banned under the anti-terror law UAPA, and six individuals have been declared as terrorists, according to a home ministry official. (PTI)

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