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India’s Ban of JKLF Is ‘Undemocratic And Illegal’

Last week, India banned Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). On 22 March, Indian media reported that the authorities had found ‘irrefutable evidence of JKLF promoting separatist sentiments’.

JKLF was founded in 1970s by Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat. Initially a militant organisation, in 1994, under Yasin Malik’s leadership, JKLF announced an indefinite ceasefire, which continues to date. Party’s goal is a secular Kashmir, independent of both India and Pakistan. JKLF is currently led by ‘freedom fighter’ Yasin Malik.

Earlier this month, India also banned Jamaat Islami in Jammu & Kashmir. These bans have come in the wake of a growing demand for independence. The combined death toll for security forces and locals reached 324 in 2018, making it the deadliest year in last ten years in the valley.

JKLF termed the move ‘undemocratic and illegal’. Spokesperson Rafique Butt also demanded immediate release of JKLF leader Yasin Malik, who is under detention since February 23.

Yasin Malik’s wife Mushaal Hussein Mullick condemned the ban, saying it has exposed the “so-called largest democracy of the world”.

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