Yasin Malik-led Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, which was banned by the government on Friday, was the first terrorist group to raise the slogan of ‘azadi’ in the state and among its first targets was a BJP leader, a Kashmiri Pandit, in 1989, officials said.
The JKLF was responsible for a litany of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir since 1980s.
Raising the slogan of ‘azadi’, the group targeted Kashmiri Pandits, government employees and ordinary, peace-loving Kashmiri people, a security official said.
The JKLF targeted a Kashmiri Pandit for the first time on September 14, 1989 when it killed Pandit Tikalal Taploo, the state BJP vice president, in front of several people, a security official said.
The terror group was also involved in the blasts at three government buildings, including the Telegraph Office in Srinagar, on August 1, 1988.
JKLF terrorists killed Mohammad Yousuf Halwai, a local leader of the National Conference, in Srinagar on August 17, 1989 and shot dead retired sessions judge N K Ganjoo, who had sentenced JKLF leader Maqbool Butt to death, on October 4, 1989, the official said.
The terror group also kidnapped Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, when she was returning home from a hospital in Srinagar on December 8, 1989.
She was released five days later, on December 13, in exchange of the release of five JKLF terrorists from jail.
Four IAF officers were killed by the terror outfit on January 25, 1990 when they were waiting at a bus stop along with their family members at Natipora in Srinagar.
Twelve family members of the IAF personnel were also injured in the attack. Two of them later died in a hospital, another official said.
A chargesheet in this case was filed in Jammu TADA court against Yasin Malik, the prime accused, and six others.
Malik tried all methods in the book to escape the trial and moved a petition in 2008 for transfer of the case to Srinagar which was rejected, the official said.
Against this order, he approached the Jammu and Kashmir High Court through a writ petition. For one reason or the other, hearing on this writ petition could not be completed till March 2019.
The Union Home Ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir administration pursued the matter relentlessly and on March 13, 2019, the high court dismissed Malik’s plea to transfer the trial to Srinagar.
Trial in this case is expected to resume soon in Jammu, the official said.
The JKLF continues to abet stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir, indulge in money laundering, provide financial and logistic support to separatist groups and glorify terrorist activities.
The JKLF was declared an unlawful association yesterday by the central government.
Crackdown on the JKLF is a sign that the Centre will not tolerate separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, while it keeps its doors open for all those peace-loving Kashmir people for dialogue, the official said.
Malik is currently in a jail in Jammu.