Tribunal to adjudicate if Masarat Alam-headed MLJK should be declared banned outfit

NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) The Centre on Monday constituted a tribunal consisting of a Delhi High Court judge to adjudicate if there is sufficient ground for declaring the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir, headed by pro-Pakistan separatist leader Masarat Alam Bhat, as a banned organisation.

The Jammu and Kashmir-based group was declared outlawed by the government on December 27 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 for five years.

In a notification, the Union Home Ministry said exercising the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 5 read with subsection (1) of section 4 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the central government constituted the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal consisting of Justice Sachin Datta, Judge, High Court of Delhi, for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (Masarat Alam faction) (MLJK-MA) as an unlawful association.

The organisation was declared banned in 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.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while announcing the ban, had emphasised that the Modi government's message is clear: 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.

He said the organisation and its members were involved in anti-national and secessionist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, supporting terrorist activities, and inciting people to establish Islamic rule in the Union Territory.

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

He became the chairman of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference following the death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Bhat has been in jail since 2010 for his alleged involvement in violent protests in the Kashmir valley.

The home ministry had said the objectives of the MLJK-MA 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 MLJK-MA 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, it said.

Alam's His release in 2015 became the first impediment in PDP-BJP alliance in J-K 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.

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