The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) tribunal was notified by the Central government on Wednesday that there was "sufficient credible material and grounds" to declare Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF-Y) an ‘unlawful association’. The government has credible grounds to act against the organization that is headed by Yasin Malik.
JKLF is held responsible for the murder of four Indian Air Force personnel and abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the former Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The government in March declared that the faction was an unlawful association, following which a tribunal, headed by Justice Chander Shekhar was constituted to adjudicate the same. The tribunal, in its order on September 20, stated that the activities of the faction are "disruptive in character, which threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India". The Central government had sufficient credible material and grounds for taking action for declaring 'JKLF-Y' as an 'unlawful association'. It is held that there is 'sufficient cause' to confirm the notification of the act declaring 'JKLF-Y' to be an 'unlawful association'," Justice Chander Shekhar stated in the order.
The order stated that the faction has been acting "in collusion with other similar groups to disrupt peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir." To substantiate its contention before the tribunal, the Central government had submitted a list of 98 FIRs filed against the faction. "A careful perusal of the FIRs brought on record makes it apparent that the association has been actively indulging in and supporting anti-national activities," Justice Shekhar stated. The tribunal observed that there is a sufficient noticeable credible material including the FIRs coupled with corroborative intelligence inputs which justified the action taken by the government.
The UAPA law which allows the Centre and States to designate individuals as terrorists and seize their property was passed in early August. In the Rajya Sabha, it was passed after a heated and intense discussion between the members. The opposition that then claimed that the bill was 'unconstitutional'. The Indian National Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party, two of the leading opposition parties had supported the bill then. At the time of the debate, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that if the bill was passed, then it would help the government be 'four steps ahead of terrorists'.
"Even in cases where FIRs are lodged for slogan shouting, the contents of the slogan are a direct affront to the sovereignty of the state and are undoubtedly anti-national ... such protests can certainly not be a part of any democratic process," the order stated.
It asserted that there is a significant difference in protesting on an issue and protesting for "territorial sovereignty". "There are statements attributed to Yasin Malik which are separatists in character and support extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Such statements have the potential of instigating sentiments which ultimately become prejudicial to the territorial integrity and security of the country," it said. The tribunal also rebutted the contentions put forth by the faction that the exercise of banning it is "vindictive in character or unconstitutional".
(With inputs from ANI)