Govt bans Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force for terror acts


The Jammu and Kashmir Ghaznavi Force (JKGF), which has been formed with cadres from terrorist organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed, was on Friday banned under the stringent anti-terror law, officials said here.

In a separate notification, a resident of Punjab, Harwinder Singh Sandhu alias Rinda, was declared a terrorist by the Ministry of Home Affairs, they said.

According to a notification issued by the ministry, the JKGF has been involved in infiltration bids, narcotics and weapon smuggling, terror attacks in the Union territory, and threats to security forces.

The JKGF draws its cadres from various proscribed terrorist organisations, such as the Lashker-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami and others, the home ministry said.

Sandhu alias Rinda, who hails from Punjab but is currently based in Lahore and associated with the banned group Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), has been declared a terrorist.

He is alleged to be one of the masterminds behind an attack on the intelligence headquarters of the Punjab Police in 2021.

A Red Corner Notice was also issued against Sandhu by the Interpol.

The home ministry said the JKGF has been using various social media platforms to incite the people of Jammu and Kashmir to join terrorist outfits against India.

The terror group is detrimental to national security and the sovereignty of India and is involved in terrorism. It has committed and participated in various acts of terrorism in the country, the ministry said.

In exercise of powers conferred by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the JKGF has been designated as a terror group, the notification stated. The ban will be effective to the JKGF and all its manifestations and front organisations.

The JKGF is the 43rd group to be declared outlawed under the anti-terror law.

The home ministry further said Harwinder Singh Sandhu has direct links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups and is also involved in cross-border smuggling of arms, ammunition and militant hardware, besides drugs on a large scale.

He was involved in various criminal offences as well like murder, attempt to murder, contract killing, robbery and extortion in Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the ministry said.

Singh is now the 54th individual to be designated as a terrorist by the government.

Last month, the central government had banned two proxy organisations of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad and declared four individuals as terrorists. On January 5, the The Resistance Front (TRF), a proxy of the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was declared a banned group.

The home ministry said the TRF was recruiting youth through the online medium for the furtherance of terrorist activities, recruitment of terrorists, infiltration of terrorists and smuggling of weapons and narcotics from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir.

The TRF came into existence in 2019 as a proxy of the banned LeT, which was involved in numerous terror acts, including the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

It was involved in psychological operations on social media platforms for inciting people of Jammu and Kashmir to join terrorist outfits against the Indian government, the ministry said.

On January 6, the Peoples Anti-Fascist-Front (PAFF), a proxy outfit of another Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, was banned for its involvement in terror acts in the Union territory and elsewhere.

The home ministry said the PAFF has been regularly issuing threats to security forces, political leaders and civilians from other states who were working in Jammu and Kashmir.

The PAFF, along with other organisations, is involved in pro-actively conspiring both physically and on social media to undertake violent terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir and major cities in India, it said.

The four individuals who were declared terrorists under the UAPA were Aijaz Ahmad Ahanger alias Abu Usman Al-Kashmiri, who is based in Afghanistan and is one of the chief recruiters of the Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), Mohammed Amin Khubaiab alias Abu Khubaiab, who belongs to Jammu and Kashmir but currently is in Pakistan, Arbaz Ahmad Mir, who is working for LeT, and Asif Maqbool Dar, who lives in Saudi Arabia and is a leading radical voice involved in influencing the Kashmiri youth to take up arms.

Mir was also allegedly involved in targeted killings and emerged as the main conspirator in the murder of a teacher in Jammu and Kashmirs Kulgam a few months ago.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)