New Delhi: The Central on Friday banned Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front led by separatist leader Yasin Malik.

Confirming the same, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said, “The Central government has today declared Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (Yasin Malik faction) as unlawful association under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. This is in accordance with the policy of zero tolerance for terrorism followed by the government.”

Gauba said that the JKLF had spearheaded the separatist ideology in the Valley and it had been at the forefront of separatist activities and violence since 1988.

Murders of Kashmiri Pandits allegedly by JKLF in 1989 triggered their exodus from the Valley. Malik was the mastermind behind the purging of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.

JKLF has many serious cases registered against it. This organisation is responsible for the alleged murder of four Indian Air Force personnel and the abduction of Dr Rubaiya Sayeed (daughter of then Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in V P Singh’s Government).

It is also held responsible for illegal funnelling of funds for fomenting terrorism. JKLF is actively involved in raising of funds and its distribution to Hurriyat cadres and stone-pelters to fuel unrest in the Valley, said reports.

Explaining the state government’s move of withdrawal of the security of some separatist leaders, he said, “A large number of secessionist leaders were being provided security by the state, this matter has been reviewed. And after review, security of many such persons has been withdrawn and this process of review will continue further.”

On the action against JKLF, Gauba said, “Thirty-seven FIRs have been registered by Jammu and Kashmir Police against the JKLF. Two cases, including the case of murder IAF personnel, were registered by the CBI. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also registered a case which is under investigation.”