Six days after the government launched a crackdown to detain its leaders and activists across the Valley, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir was declared an “unlawful organisation” on Thursday.
Banning the organisation for five years under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the JeI is “involved in anti-national and subversive” activities “intending to cause disaffection”. In a notification issued after a high-level meeting on security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the MHA said the JeI “has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to internal security and public order, and have the potential of disrupting the unity and integrity of the country.” Read in Malayalam
“JeI is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in J&K and elsewhere. JeI 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,” it said.
“If unlawful activities of JeI are not curbed and controlled immediately, it is likely to escalate its subversive activities, including attempt to carve out an Islamic State out of the territory of Union of India by destabilising the government established by law,” it said. “JeI, if not banned would continue advocating secession of J&K from Union of India; propagate anti-national and separatist sentiments prejudicial to integrity and security of the country, escalate secessionist movements, support militancy and incite violence”.
Days after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed, police and paramilitary forces, in a sudden crackdown on the night of February 22, raided houses of JeI leaders and activists across the Valley and detained them.
While the authorities are silent on the scale of detentions and the charges against the JeI activists, police sources said about 250 leaders and activists have been detained. JeI leaders put the figure at over 300.
Among those detained are top state and district leaders, including JeI chief Dr Abdul Hameed Fayaz, former secretary general Dr Ghulam Qadir Lone, spokesperson Advocate Zahid Ali and most of the district presidents. Most of the activists were detained from the four districts of South Kashmir.
JeI J&K, which was founded in 1942, has a strong cadre base across the state. It is separate from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and is more inclined towards Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. It maintains that J&K is a disputed territory, and seeks its resolution through right to self determination.
In 1990, when militancy erupted in the Valley, the Hizbul Mujahideen called itself the military wing of JeI. While hundreds of its activists were killed by the counter-insurgent force Ikhwan in the mid-90s, JeI distanced itself from militancy in 1997.