Jamaat ban fallout: Admn tightlipped over fate of those arrested
Srinagar, Mar 2: The Administration in Kashmir is tightlipped about the fate of hundreds of Jamaat-e-Islami members arrested in the last week and the schools run by the organisation. The government late last month launched a crackdown on JeI leaders arresting hundreds of its members including the organisation’s top leaders. It was followed by the home ministry decree on Thursday declaring JeI and unlawful organisation for five years for allegedly “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”. The JeI has a cadre base of around 6,000 members in the state. Fallah-e-Aam Trust (FAT), a JeI run NGO, manages a network of over 300 schools. Besides, JeI runs number of orphanages, relief organisations and other social institutions. The ban leaves the fate of the chain of educational institutes, including the students, teachers and other staff members in them, in disarray. Since Thursday several properties, including residential houses, belonging to various leaders and activists, and offices were sealed in many areas across the valley. More than 70 premises have been identified for sealing and JeI’s assets worth Rs 52 crore are in the process of being frozen across Jammu and Kashmir. Other properties and assets of JeI leaders are currently being identified for attachment across the state. The statewide crackdown initiated by the government has been carried out to check JeI funds. Official spokesperson of JK government Rohit Kansal and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan refused to comment on the issue. “I am not authorized to talk on this issue,” the Div Com replied when asked what decision has been taken over the JeI run schools and releasing of its leaders and activists. The Kashmir Monitor tried to contact several district commissioners however all of them were reluctant to talk on the matter. “I am not authorized to speak because multiple agencies are involved in that,” said DC Srinagar Shahid Chowdhary. Details have been sought from the education department about the JeI schools. On Saturday, CEO Budgam sought details regarding the functioning the private recognized schools under the control of Jamaat-e-Islami. As per Section 42 of the Act, the Centre “may delegate all or any of the powers which may be exercised by it under Section 7, or Section 8, or both”. Section 7 deals with the government’s power to prohibit the use of funds of an unlawful association, while Section 8 is used to notify places used for the purpose of an unlawful association, which could include the offices of JeI. For decades, the Jamaat has been a target of the state. In the state Assembly, it raised the question of self-determination for Kashmir until it was banned by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency. The ban was imposed soon after she signed a pact with National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah, who agreed to drop the Kashmiri demand for self-determination. The ban was lifted in 1977 and Jamaat participated in that year’s elections.