Centre extends ban on LTTE by five years

The ban on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been extended by a sweeping five years with the Centre noting that the outfit has been “clandestinely” working for a separate ‘Eelam’ and fostering separatist tendency among people in Tamil Nadu.

The LTTE was banned across the country in the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in a suicide attack. The last extension of the ban was on May 14, 2012 for two years, which period ended on Wednesday.

“The Government of India, under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has proscribed the LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’. The declaration of LTTE as an ‘Unlawful Association’ has been extended for a further period of five years with effect from May 14, 2014,” a Home Ministry statement said on Thursday.

The fresh ban comes at a time when a new government is to assume charge at the Centre. Pro-LTTE parties like Vaiko-led MDMK are part of the BJP coalition, which exit polls claim could form the next government.

According to the government notification issued on Wednesday, “The separatist Tamil chauvinist groups and pro-LTTE groups continue to foster a separatist tendency amongst masses and enhance the support base for LTTE in India and particularly in Tamil Nadu.”

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