Tribunal confirms 5-year ban on two Jammu & Kashmir groups

The single-member tribunal, led by Delhi High Court Judge Sachin Datta, was constituted under the stringent anti-terror law in January to evaluate whether there was “sufficient cause” for the ban.

| Updated: 23 June, 2024 4:06 pm IST

SRINAGAR: A tribunal established under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on Saturday affirmed the Centre’s decision to impose a five-year ban on the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Jammu and Kashmir.

The single-member tribunal, led by Delhi High Court Judge Sachin Datta, was constituted under the stringent anti-terror law in January to evaluate whether there was “sufficient cause” for the ban.

Upholding the ban, the tribunal concluded that the two organizations were engaging in secessionist activities in the Valley with support from across the border to facilitate the merger of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan and establish Islamic rule in the Union Territory.

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The tribunal also supported the Centre’s claim that the organisations were acting on behalf of Pakistan-based terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen, providing consistent ground support for militant operations in the Valley.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati and advocate Rajat Nair represented the Government before the tribunal.

The Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) was declared outlawed for five years by the Government under the UAPA on December 27, 2023, due to its involvement in anti-national and secessionist activities in the Union Territory.

Founded by the deceased separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) was banned for five years on December 31, 2023. The organization was proscribed for promoting terrorism and spreading anti-India propaganda in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Union Home Ministry, while imposing the ban, stated that the leaders and members of TeH have been involved in raising funds through various sources, including Pakistan and its proxy organizations, to support unlawful activities, including terrorist activities and sustained stone-pelting on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

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The Ministry asserted that TeH and its members, through their actions, have shown blatant disrespect towards the constitutional authority and framework of the country and have engaged in activities detrimental to the integrity, sovereignty, security, and communal harmony of the nation.

While banning the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction), the Ministry cited the outfit’s involvement in anti-national and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, with the intent to instill terror in the country.

Masarat Alam Bhat is known for his anti-India and pro-Pakistan rhetoric. Bhat assumed the chairmanship of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference following the death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Currently, he is incarcerated.

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

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