Muslim conference factions outlawed for sedition

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the two factions of the JKMC have been engaging in activities against the sovereignty and integrity of the nation, and have links with banned terrorist organisations.

| Updated: 29 February, 2024 2:54 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Wednesday banned two factions of the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference (JKMC) for their involvement in anti-national and unlawful activities. The two factions, led by Ghulam Nabi Sumji and Abdul Ghani Bhat, respectively, have been declared as unlawful associations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the two factions of the JKMC have been engaging in activities against the sovereignty and integrity of the nation, and have links with banned terrorist organisations. They have also supported terrorism, stone-pelting, and secessionism in Jammu and Kashmir, and have raised funds from Pakistan and its proxy organisations for these purposes.

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced the ban on social media platform X and said that the Modi government is determined to uproot terrorism and anyone involved in unlawful activities will face dire consequences. “Striking terror networks with undiminished vehemence the government has declared the Muslim Conference Jammu & Kashmir (Sumji faction) and Muslim Conference Jammu & Kashmir (Bhat faction) as Unlawful Associations. These outfits have been engaging in activities against the sovereignty and integrity of the nation. PM Modi’s government is determined to uproot terrorism and anyone involved in unlawful activities will face dire consequences,” Shah wrote on X.

The two factions of the JKMC are part of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), a separatist alliance led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. However, they have not been active for several years, and have faced internal rifts and leadership changes. Sumji, a former MLA, resigned in 1989 to join the Hurriyat, and became the chairman of the JKMC after the death of its founder leader, Molvi Mohammad Farooq, in 1990. He was arrested in 2017 under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and was released in 2019.

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Bhat, a former professor, was removed as the president of the JKMC in 2017, after he met with the Centre’s special representative, Dineshwar Sharma, and expressed his willingness to talk to the Centre. He is considered to be a moderate and has a negligible presence in the valley.

The ban on the two factions of the JKMC comes a day after the Centre extended the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) for another five years, for its alleged involvement in subversive and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

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