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The Banning of Jamaat-e-Islami in J&K: An All-out Crackdown on Terror Infrastructure

Jamaat-e-Islami (JeL) in J&K

The world has seen how India took decisive actions against the terror camps in Pakistan and Pak Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. India has also successfully foiled the attack by Pakistani Airforce, which had targeted our military installations. Around the same time, Modi government also took some important measures to clamp down on the terror funding infrastructure within India, especially in Jammu and Kashmir. The ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (JeL) in J&K appears to be a very big move in this direction.

Ban on Jamaat-e- Islami in J&K

The Centre has banned Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on the ground that the group has been in collusion with the terror outfits and working towards the secession of a part of Indian territory from the Union of India. The step came after the Police raided hundreds of Jamaat cadres across J&K on February 23 & 24.

Cutting the Financial Nerve of Terror

After Pulwama terror attack, the government began a crackdown on separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. The security cover that had been provided to the separatist leaders such as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Lone, Hashim Qureshi and Shabir Shah, was withdrawn. The administration has also arrested separatist leaders such as Yasin Malik.

However, of these moves, the biggest crackdown was arguably on Jamaat-e-Islami J&K. The law enforcing agencies raided and arrested more than 150 activists from the J&K Jamaat including a local leader Abdul Hamid Fayaz on February 23.

On February 27, 2019 the Ministry of Finance in its statement has explained its drive to trace illegal sources of funding that have financed the separatist elements and their activities in the valley. The Income Tax department has conducted search operations at various premises belonging to the head of one prominent organisation and recovered credible evidence of large-scale undisclosed financial transactions. Despite carrying out large scale financial transactions, it was found that neither the aforesaid organisation’s leader nor any member of his family has ever filed any income tax return.

JeL: The False Cry of Victimhood

As soon as the news of Central Government banning the J&K Jamaat had broken, the politicians in the valley such as Mehbooba Mufti condemned it, saying that the ‘‘dissenting’’ voices should not be jailed in democracy. Was Jamaat in J&K representing mere ‘‘dissent’’? Even historically there are evidences to argue otherwise.

  • Though Jamaat-e-Islami in J&K projects itself as a social and educational organisation, its pro-Pakistan leanings are always in open. As this report has pointed out, Jamaat had also contested elections in the valley in 1987 with one of its allies being Muslim United Front (MUF). Mohammad Yousuf Shah who had headed MUF then, later joined Hizbul Mujahideen as its supreme commander, and is today better known as Syed Salahuddin.
  • In the heightened days of insurgency in the state in 1990 when the Kashmiri youths began to take up arms training in Pakistan, Ahsan Dar, founder and chief commander of Hizbul Mujahideen had claimed that his armed terror outfit was a “sword arm of Jamaat”.

Thus, with the banning of JeL, Modi government’s war against terror is becoming stronger by the day.