Taking a tough stance against separatists, the centre today banned Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front or JKLF as an unlawful association under the provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act or UAPA.
The decision was taken by Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"JKLF led by Yasin Malik spearheaded the separatist ideology in the valley and has been at the forefront of the separatist activities and violence since 1988," Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba said.
According to him, JKLF is also involved in murders of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989 which in turn had triggered their exodus from the valley.
"Yasin Malik was the mastermind behind the purging of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir valley and is responsible for their genocide," he said.
The organisation was banned after a series of meetings held in North Block in which top security and intelligence officials said that banning JKLF would have a direct impact on ground as far as law and order is concerned.
There are 37 cases being investigated by various agencies against JKLF. "It is evident that JKLF continues to be actively engaged in supporting and inciting secessionism and terrorism including financing," the Home Secretary said, adding
"Central government has followed a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and is taking action against them".
According to the Home Secretary, many cases are being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency and Income Tax against many separatist leaders.
The centre is keeping a close watch on all separatists. As state police has highlighted several reports stating that especially some Hurriyat leaders are in close touch with terrorist organisations, like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen in Pakistan.
Agencies say they also have intercepted many conversations with terror outfit leaders and Hurriyat leaders and many of such conversations exposed that Hurriyat leaders were simply executing the commands from across the border. Some conversations were also tracked to Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI top brass, including Colonel Tanveer Ahmed, who is handling many Kashmir-based anti-Indian activists.
"The fight against terrorism has now entered the most decisive phase and many elements are trying to create chaos in this summer," said a senior official.
Earlier, the centre banned Jamaat-e-Islami under the UAPA.