New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday banned jailed separatist Shabir Ahmad Shah’s Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) for five years for its “anti-India” and “pro-Pakistan” activities, according to an official notification.
The ban was ordered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Founded in 1998 by Shah, a prominent separatist leader in Jammu and Kashmir, the JKDFP was a constituent of the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference. After the division of the Hurriyat Conference in 2003, the JKDFP became a part of the faction headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani then.
Shah is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 25, 2017, in a 2005 money laundering case.
He has also been charge-sheeted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a terror-funding case.
In November last year, the ED had attached his Srinagar house in connection with its money laundering probe linked to a case of fuelling terror activities in the Union territory.
In 2019, the Centre had banned two Hurriyat constituents — Jamaat-e-Islami and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) — for five years for promoting secession of the militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir from the Union of India.
In the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday evening, additional secretary Praveen Vashista said the JKDFP was formed by Shah for “anti-India” and “pro-Pakistan” propaganda.
“The central government…is of firm opinion that it is necessary to declare JKDFP as an unlawful association with immediate effect,” Vashista said, adding the notification will be effective for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the official gazette, subject to any order that may be made under relevant sections of the UAPA.
The notification said Shah had called Kashmir a “dispute” and ruled out any settlement within the framework of the Constitution of India and the members of his party have been at the forefront of secessionist activities with an intention to create a separate Islamic state.
“The leader or members of the JKDFP have been involved in raising funds through various sources including Pakistan and its proxy organisations for perpetrating unlawful activities, including supporting terrorist activities, and sustained stone-pelting on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir,” the officer said.
He said the JKDFP and its members by their activities show sheer disrespect towards the constitutional authority and constitutional setup of the country, indulging in unlawful activities which are prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty, security and communal harmony of the country.
“There have been a number of inputs showing linkages of the JKDFP with banned terrorist organisations, the JKDFP and its members have been involved in violent terrorist activities with an intent to create a reign of terror in the country, thereby endangering the security and public order of the state, and its anti-national activities also show disrespect and disregard to the constitutional authority and sovereignty of the State, hence an immediate and prompt action is required against the organisation,” the notification read.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said the central government is of the opinion that if there is no immediate curb or control of unlawful activities of the JKDFP, it will use this opportunity to continue with its anti-national activities, advocate secession of Jammu and Kashmir, escalate its insurrectionary activities including attempt to carve out an Islamic State out of the territory of the Union of India by destabilizing the government established by law.