The central government is considering the imposition of a ban on the Jammu and Kashmir-based secessionist All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), news agency PTI reported on Sunday, 22 August, citing government sources.
Following the indication of the ban, the extremist faction of the group, on Sunday, took down the signboard displayed at the Hurriyat's head office at their leader's house in Srinagar's Hyderpora, NDTV reported.
Why is the Government Considering a Ban on the Hurriyat Conference?
As part of the government's zero tolerance policy against terrorism, both the moderate as well as the hardline factions of the Hurriyat will be banned, officials told PTI. The government's proposal comes after the separatist group came under the government's radar for funding terrorist organisations.
A recent investigation into the granting of MBBS seats to Kashmiri students in certain institutes of Pakistan had reportedly revealed that the money collected from the students seeking admission was being used by the Hurriyat Conference to fund terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM).
The Hurriyat Conference, which organised in 1993, is a united political front comprising 26 groups that work for the cause of Kashmir separatism. The APHC furthers the claim of Pakistan on the Indian Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The conglomerate had been divided into two factions in 2005, with the moderate group being led by the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, while the hardline faction has been headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Previously, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) have been banned by the government under terror prevention laws.
Earlier this month, a massive crackdown was launched against the JeI by the the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The forces conducted raids at 14 districts in Jammu and Kashmir, in order to check the resurgence of activity by the militant group.
(With inputs from PTI and NDTV)