Lashkar proxy The Resistance Front declared terror group, banned by Centre | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lashkar proxy The Resistance Front declared terror group, banned by Centre

ByNeeraj Chauhan | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi
Jan 06, 2023 06:21 AM IST

The Resistance Front (TRF) was behind a majority of attacks on civilians, including Kashmiri Pandits and migrant workers as well as security forces in Kashmir for the past couple of years.

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Thursday declared The Resistance Front (TRF), a proxy of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terrorist organisation and banned it under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

TRF was involved in an attack on Jammu Indian Air Force (IAF) camp last year.(PTI file)
TRF was involved in an attack on Jammu Indian Air Force (IAF) camp last year.(PTI file)

TRF was behind a majority of attacks on civilians, including Kashmiri Pandits and migrant workers as well as security forces in Kashmir, for the past couple of years.

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TRF’s name has been added to the banned outfit’s list, along with LeT itself, under the first schedule of UAPA, according to a notification issued on Thursday.

“The Resistance Front came into existence in the year 2019 as a proxy outfit of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a proscribed terrorist organisation listed at serial number 5 of the first schedule under the UAPA," a notification issued by the MHA on said.

TRF, the notification added, “is recruiting youth through online medium for furtherance of terrorist activities” and “has been involved in carrying out propaganda on terror activities, recruitment of terrorists, infiltration of terrorists and smuggling of weapons and narcotics from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir”.

The MHA said the LeT proxy is “involved in psychological operations on social media platforms for inciting people of Jammu and Kashmir to join terrorist outfits against Indian state”.

TRF commander - Sajjad Gul - has already been declared a designated terrorist by the Indian government.

Asserting that the activities of TRF are detrimental to the national security and sovereignty of India, the MHA said, “A large number of cases have been registered against the members/associates of TRF relating to the planning of killings of security force personnel and innocent civilians of Jammu and Kashmir, co-coordinating and transporting weapons to support proscribed terrorist organisation, terror attack on security forces, killing of innocent persons, etc.”

An offshoot of Hafiz Saeed-led LeT, TRF was formed by the former in collaboration with the Pakistan Army and the ISI in 2019 in response to India’s abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir that gave somewhat special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The new outfit was formed with a purpose to maintain plausible deniability to Pakistan for attacks in India while it was under the scrutiny of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), according to a senior intelligence official.

The outfit, headed by TRF commander Sheikh Sajjad Gul, has since been involved in multiple attacks on Kashmiri Pandits, migrant workers, and security forces apart from an attack on Jammu Indian Air Force (IAF) camp last year, using drones to smuggle arms and using “hybrid” terrorists to carry out attacks. Hybrid terrorists, according to an officer, are the ones who are not exactly highly trained, and usually do overground work but can also do a hit-and-run job using small weapons.

Union home minister Amit Shah, in a meeting last month with top officials in Kashmir and at the Centre, had sought strict action against TRF and other outfits in the Valley.

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