Jammu-Kashmir party’s separatist faction banned – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The central government on Wednesday declared Muslim League Jammu Kashmir (MLJK-MA) faction led by separatist-hardliner Masarat Alam Bhat, who’d masterminded the 2010 stone-pelting protests in Kashmir that killed 112 people — as an ‘unlawful association’ under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The notification proscribing MLJK-MA for a five-year period said the outfit’s objective was to “free” Kashmir from India, realise its merger with Pakistan and establish Islamic rule in J&K.
Stating that MLJK-MA and its members were involved in anti-national and secessionist activities and supporting terrorism in J&K, home minister Amit Shah posted on X, “The Modi government’s message is loud and clear that anyone acting against the unity, sovereignty and integrity of our nation will not be spared and face the full wrath of the law.”Centre said MLJK-MA, in absence of immediate curbs on its unlawful activities, would continue advocating secession of J&K form the Union of India while disputing its accession; and keep propagating a false narrative and anti-national sentiments among the people of J&K.
MLJK-MA chairman Masarat Alam, a protege of Hurriyat ‘hawk’ Syed Ali Shah Geelani who was chosen to lead the latter’s outfit Tehreek-e-Hurriyat after Geelani’s death in 2021, has been under preventive detention since 2010, barring a short-lived release in 2015.
The Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government’s decision to free Masarat in March 2015 had become a bone of contention between the then J&K coalition partners BJP and PDP and, by extension, between the Centre and the J&K government. He was rearrested soon after in April 2015 f for raising Pakistani flags and shouting pro-Pakistan slogans at a reception rally for Geelani in Srinagar in Srinagar.
Though J&K high court had held Masarat’s continued detention under the J&K Public Safety Act as illegal, he has remained in jail for the past 13 years under detention orders issued by different district magistrates or in different cases.



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