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Tribunal confirms five-year extension of ban imposed on LTTE

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
A tribunal of the Delhi High Court has confirmed the five-year extension of the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a terror group that was behind the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The central government, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, constituted the tribunal on June 11 for the purpose of adjudicating whether or not there was sufficient cause for declaring the LTTE as an unlawful association.
The tribunal, headed by Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, a judge of the Delhi High Court, on November 6 confirmed the five-year ban extension announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 14.
"And whereas, the said tribunal, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 4 of the said Act, made an order on the 6th November, 2019 confirmed the declaration made in the said notification," according to a notification by the Home Ministry.
The tribunal in its order said one of the aims and objectives of the LTTE is to protect and preserve the geographical identity and integrity of the 'traditional homelands of Tamils and Muslims'.
Tamil Nadu has traditionally been considered to be the homeland of Tamil and, therefore, the ultimate objective of LTTE is to integrate traditional Tamil areas of India with the Tamil speaking areas of Sri Lanka and such an act constitutes 'unlawful activity' within the meaning of Section 2(o) of the UAP Act, being intended to bring about cession of a part of the territory of India, it said.
The prime objective of LTTE is "total liberation of its homeland and the establishment of an independent, sovereign socialist State of Tamil Nadu" which still remains to be its prime target and many activities during this period are aimed for that, by the LTTE/Pro-LTTE groups.
The tribunal said according to a comprehensive and holistic reading of the evidence adduced by the central government as well as Tamil Nadu, it is evident that the LTTE continued to operate in India from 2014 to 2019 more particularly in Tamil Nadu and has indulged in various disruptive activities in order to malign the Government of India with an objective of creating a separatist Tamil Eelam and the details of which have already been placed on record by the witnesses.
"In view of the above discussion, I am of the firm view that the central government has been able to place on record the sufficient material and cause for declaring the LTTE as an 'unlawful association' under the UAP Act and the same was necessitated in national interest," the order said.
"The declaration made by the central government vide Notification No. S.O. 1730 (E) dated 14.05.2019 under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 is hereby confirmed," it said.
India had banned the LTTE after the assassination of Gandhi in 1991. The ban on the group was last extended for five years in 2014.
The LTTE, a terror outfit based in Sri Lanka but having its supporters, sympathisers and agents in India, came up in 1976.

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First Published: Nov 27 2019 | 8:05 PM IST

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