Ban on Jama’at-e-Islami: ‘Arbitrary, unjust, unwarranted action’

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Mass detention of its leaders and activists followed by a ban on Jama’at-e-Islami has already drawn flak in Kashmir. An ensued rallying cry against the action has now brought different stakeholders together to press for an immediate revocation of the ban.

It started in the 23th February night, when jets suddenly appeared in Kashmir skies and created a warlike feeling. Soon as nocturnal raids and detentions ensued, it became certain by daybreak that leaders and activists of Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) have been detained in a nocturnal mass crackdown in the valley.

JeI, the socio-religo-political body, apparently bore the brunt for propagating the ideology—“seeking right to self determination for Kashmir dispute”.

The body which was part of electoral politics in Kashmir before 90s is a cadre-based outfit. The mass detention of its leader-activist calculus has triggered fresh concerns in the valley.

As detentions continued, almost a week later, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) handed over a five-year ban to JeI (J&K).

“JeI is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in J&K and elsewhere,” MHA said in a notification issued after a high-level meeting on security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi lately.

“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 added.

Notably, Hizbul Mujahideen was declared as JeI’s military wing during nineties. But after facing mass crackdown and suffering substantial casualties at the hand of counter-insurgent group called Ikhwan, Jel distanced itself from Hizb in 1997.

It’s a third time that a ban has been imposed on JeI. Earlier, it was banned by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah government in seventies. Later, during 90s, it was banned by Governor Jagmohan. On both the occasions, the body fought bans in court. It’s again mulling the same legal route to confront the fresh ban.

Over the years, however, JeI (J&K) has evolved as a social and welfare body. Its cadres played a great role in relief and rescue mission during 2014 floods and often organise blood donation and other welfare activities.

After the ban, Jama’at has exhorted its cadre “to remain disciplined and patient whatever the circumstances will be…”

But now, as reports of crackdown on Jama’at properties are doing rounds, it has further drawn flak from who’s who in Kashmir, including the pro-India parties.

Here’s how Kashmir reacted over crackdown-ban on JeI:

Bar Association

The notification dated 28.02.2019 declaring Jamaat-e-Islami as an unlawful association, is legally and constitutionally invalid because it is aimed to deprive the Kashmiri Muslim students of the education they receive in the schools run by Falah-i-Aam Trust, which is their fundamental right.

The banning of this organisation is also aimed to curb the peaceful religious activities by the said organisation which is clearly an interference into the religious affairs of Muslims of Kashmir.

Joint Resistance Leadership

Post Pulwama attack, there has been a deliberate attempt to direct revenge against Kashmiri’s including attacks on students studying outside to mass arrests and crackdown, raids on homes of leadership and people across the valley to banning organisations and fiddling with 35A/370.

All this is being undertaken by the rulers in New Delhi in a sweeping and muscular manner by continuing with their Kashmir doctrine of force, to be seen as being tough on Kashmir and fulfilling their agenda over it in order to woo and consolidate their voters for electoral gains.

Jama’at-e-Islami (J&K)

The ban imposed by Indian Ministry of Home Affairs on JeI is unconstitutional, undemocratic and unethical. The allegations leveled against the Jama’at are concocted and baseless.

Jama’at carries its activities peacefully which are transparent and visible. It works on priority basis for propagation of Islamic teachings, development of society and dignity of humanity.

Jama’at will move to court and in this regards deliberations are going on with legal experts.

Ali Mohammad Sagar

By banning JeI, the government will achieve nothing. The move will not help; it will rather impede the process of reconciliation and rapprochement in our state.

It does not augur well for a working democracy like ours to ban socio-political outfits. By mounting heresy hunting against all who veer from the mainstream, the GoI is wittingly closing the space for political dissent.

Suppression will inevitably breed radicalisation and I urge the GoI to undo the move of banning JeI in the state for the greater good of the country.

Mehbooba Mufti

Democracy is a battle of ideas. Crackdown followed by banning of Jama’at Islami (JK) is condemnable, another example of high handedness and muscular approach of GOI to deal with political issue of J&K.

Why is GoI so uncomfortable with Jama’at-e-Islami? Radicalised Hindu groups representing fringe elements are given carte blanche to spread misinformation & vitiate the atmosphere. But an org that has worked tirelessly for Kashmiris is banned. Is being anti BJP anti national now?

Sajad Lone

In a vibrant democracy ideas have to be fought not banned. This organisation [JeI] has given us illustrious leaders and legislators. How can they be banned? I strongly pitch for revocation of the ban.

Er Rasheed

It is unfortunate that rather talking to genuine stake holders over resolution to Kashmir issue, New Delhi is keen bent on muzzling the genuine voices. While Jamat-e-Islami has made huge contributions in education and social sectors and has also played its part in genuine social reforms, the party has considerable following in every nook and corner of the state among all sections of society.

The Jamat-I-Islami constitution doesn’t believe in running underground movements and it was the reason why Jamat-e-Islami had deep differences with Geelani Sahab which ended at their parting ways from each other. Jamat has also openly denounced violence and believes in peaceful resolution to Kashmir dispute as such banning the organization carries no sense and logic.

Qayoom Wani

Jama’at cadres in 2014 floods worked day and night to extend relief and rehabilitation to the suffering people. In 2005 earthquake that left thousands homeless, Jama’at came forward to help the people in all parts of the state. Jama’at has always been at the front in its fight against social evils.

In education sector, Jama’at has made huge contribution. The ban on JeI should immediately be revoked and its cadres should be released unconditionally.

Raja Muzaffar Bhat

Jama’at is no way involved in militant activities. It does not promote violent ways to propagate its activities. It is doing commendable work in the field of education and social upliftment plus religious teachings.

How can VHP, Bajarang Dal carry on its activities in Jammu Kashmir while as JeI will be banned?

Civil Society

Jama’at has been politically silent for a long time and the question of their involvement in unlawful activities does not arise. This has been done days after its top leaders and dozens of members were abruptly and inexplicably arrested.

Everyone in the Valley is stunned and disturbed by this sudden arbitrary, unjust and unwarranted action against an organisation that has contributed tremendously in the education and preservation of culture in a peaceful manner.

It was Sheikh Abdullah who had banned them for denying them the political space but late Mrs [Indira] Ghandi lifted the ban and offered them the democratic space. The GoI must immediately lift the ban and stop finding scapegoats.

Mohammad Yasin Khan

Ban on Jama’at is an attack on the religio-humanitarian sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It’s the outcome of the communal politics ahead of the 2019 Parliament elections. Some right wing parties want to gain political mileage out of it.”

Jama’at is not only a religious organization but had been working mainly for the cause of humanity and that ban on such an outfit is attack on humanity in general.

Jama’at has done exemplary work during all the humanitarian crisis and has also been contributing in the development of the society through its means like education activities.

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