Govt imposes ban on Jamaat-e-Islami J&K

‘JeI in close touch with militants, supporting extremism’
Declared ‘unlawful association’ for 5 years
Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Feb 28: In a significant development, the Government of India has declared Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir as an unlawful organization for a period of five years on the ground that it was in close touch with militant outfits and supporting extremism.
According to a notification in this regard, issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Jamaat-e-Islami ( JeI) has been indulging in activities, which are prejudicial to internal security, public order and have the potential of disrupting the unity and integrity of the country.
“The Central Government is of the opinion that JeI is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu Kashmir and elsewhere,” read the notification, which was issued after a high level meeting on security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held at New Delhi, this evening.
Jamaat-e-Islami is believed to be the political outfit of banned terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen, led by Syed Salahuddin, who had crossed over to Pakistan in late eighties and has been coordinating the Kashmir based militant outfits as chief of United Jehad Council.
Stating that JeI is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in the country intended to cause disaffection, the Central Government further opined that if the unlawful acts of the outfit are not curbed and controlled immediately, it is likely to escalate its seditious activities, including attempt to carve out an Islamic State out of the territory of Union of India by destablising the Government established by law.
“Jel is supporting claims for secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose by indulging in activities and articulations intended to disrupt the territorial integrity of India,” says the notification adding that if not banned, it would continue advocating secession of the State of J&K from the Union of India while disputing the accession.
Fearing that unlawful activities of JeI would escalate secessionist movements, support militancy and incite violence, which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country, the Government reasoned that having regard to its activities, it was necessary to declare the JeI to be an unlawful association with immediate effect.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) and (3) of section 3 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government hereby declares the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir as an ‘unlawful association’ and directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under Section 4 of the said Act, have effect for a period of five years from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette,” read the notification.
The significant notification came barely a few days after the Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested around 100 cadres of the group in the State. During the intervening night of February 22 and 23, the police had carried out a crackdown on Jamaat cadres and arrested 100 JeI activists across the Valley, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz and spokesperson Zahid Ali. The action came following the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred . Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir was formed in 1945 as a chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and had separated in 1953 due to differences over political ideology with the parent body.
Earlier also, it was banned in 1990 soon after the eruption of militancy in J&K. The previous ban lapsed in 1995 and since then it has never been invoked again. The party, with pro-Pakistan leaning during the Plebiscite Front days and also during the eruption of militancy, pitches itself as socio-religious organisation working mainly in the field of education and awareness about Islam.
The Jamaat-e-Islami was an influential founder member of the undivided Hurriyat Conference from its inception in 1993 till 2003, when the amalgam suffered a vertical split led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani over alleged proxy participation in 2002 Assembly polls by some leaders of the People’s Conference led by Sajjad Gani Lone. The Jamaat withdrew from the Hurriyat and decided to focus on its ‘social’ work while maintaining its separatist stand on Kashmir issue. The cadre-based party has deep influence in Kashmir valley through its network of Madrsaas.