Admn shuts 300 educational institutions run by Jamaat offshoot FAT in J&K

Alhudda-Educational Institute Malangpora Pulwama that was also asked by the JKBOSE to shutdown. -Excelsior Picture
Alhudda-Educational Institute Malangpora Pulwama that was also asked by the JKBOSE to shutdown. -Excelsior Picture

Students asked to take admissions in Govt schools
Action follows SIA probe showing foreign funding, jihadi literature

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, June 14: In a major decision, the administration today stopped operations of nearly 300 educational institutions run by Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT), an offshoot of banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and directed the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) to seal them within 15 days in consultation with district administration.

Click here to see full order

The action followed investigation in the cases against JeI being conducted by the State Investigation Agency (SIA) amid reports of foreign funding through a number of bank accounts, official sources told the Excelsior.
“Also, there were reports that jihadi literature was also taught in some of the schools run by the FAT. The SIA had gathered credible evidence about circulation of “undesirable literature to pollute mind of students” following which the School Education Department (SED) of Jammu and Kashmir Government today came out with the order directing sealing of the institutions and cessation of their operations,” official sources told the Excelsior.
As per rough estimates, about 50,000 students are enrolled in FAT-run educational institutions while over 5,000 teachers are engaged. In 1990 also, when the then Governor’s administration banned Jamat-e-Islami, it had banned FAT also. FAT teachers were then absorbed in Government services. However, the court had overturned ban on FAT
A four-page order to this effect was issued today by Principal Secretary to Government, School Education Department, BK Singh.
It directed cessation of academic activities in FAT-affiliated schools and also asked Chief Education Officers of various districts to seal the institutions within 15 days in consultation with the district administration.
“All students studying in these banned institutions shall admit themselves to nearby Government schools for the current session,” the Government order said.
The order directed the Chief Education Officers, Principals and Zonal Education Officers to facilitate the admission of these students.
“No new admissions shall be taken in these banned FAT institutions,” the order said.
It asked the CEO/ZEOs concerned to make wide publicity in all dailies/newspapers that these institutions are not recognized.
The FAT was set up by Jamat-e-Islami and registered by the Government on July 31, 1972. However, on February 28, 2019, the then Union Home Ministry headed by Rajnath Singh banned Jamat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir on grounds of being in close touch with militants. Police and Magistrates had then sealed several Jamat-e-Islami offices across Jammu and Kashmir and also issued notices to schools run by FAT asking them to close down.
However, later, the Government had come out with a clarification that these schools will not be closed down.
Sources said the State Investigation Agency during investigation of cases against SIA has come across series of evidence linking FAT-run schools with foreign funding, circulation of jihadi literature and polluting minds of teenagers prompting the Government to shut down the educational institutions.
While the SIA and police had arrested number of Jamat-e-Islami activists when the organization was banned, several others are still on the run.
The SIA has also came across alleged gross illegalities, outright frauds and mass scale encroachment of Government lands by FAT.
The FAT, according to the officials, is an affiliate of radical outfit Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) which is proscribed by Ministry of Home Affairs under the provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
The officials alleged that JeI mostly draws its sustenance from the vast network of FAT schools, seminaries, orphanages, pulpits of mosques and other charities and added that such institutions played a destructive role in large-scale unrests of 2008, 2010 and 2016 bringing huge miseries to common people and forcing them for shutdowns by threat, intimidation and street violence.
Interestingly, almost all FAT schools numbering over 300 have been found to be existing on illegally acquired Government and community lands wherein lands were occupied by coercion, at gunpoint as well as colluding with revenue officials who made wrong entities in revenue documents by committing fraud and forgery, the officials said.
The SIA has already registered FIR in such matter and the agency is expanding the ambit of these investigations to unearth all such frauds, unauthorised entities and forgeries that have been committed in last 30 years at the behest of terrorists and for other considerations which include monetary gratifications, the officials added.