The five-year ban imposed on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir, by the Centre for the outfit”s active support to militant and secessionist activities has been confirmed by a tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge.
The tribunal, presided over by Justice Chander Shekhar, after going through innumerable evidence and deposition by witnesses observed that the “inescapable conclusion” is that the JeI, its office-bearers and members have been actively indulging in unlawful activities.
“From the aforesaid discussion, it is apparent that the activities of the respondent association, its office bearers and members have been disruptive in character, which threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. They have been acting in collusion with other similar organisations in India as well as in other countries against their stated objectives in their constitution.
“The central government had sufficient credible material and grounds for taking action under sub-Sections (1) & (3) of Section 3 of the [Unlawful Activities (Prevention)] Act for declaring ”JeI” as an ”Unlawful Association”. Accordingly, it is held that there is “sufficient cause” to confirm the notification under sub-Section (3) of Section 4 of the Act declaring ”JeI” to be an “Unlawful Association”, the tribunal observed.
While submitting an affidavit before the tribunal, Inspector General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Swayam Prakash Pani had stated that after the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India, JeI (J-K) began to follow instructions and directions from JeI (Pakistan) and question the accession of the state with the Union of India and promoting secessionist movement in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pani said the JeI (J-K) is patronising banned outfit Hizbul Mujahedeen, which was constituted in the last quarter of 1989, and that both of them are currently engaged in increasing their influence through various means, including merger of smaller terrorist groups with it.
The senior police officer said the JeI (J-K) is “intrinsically linked with United Jehad Council (based in Pakistan) which is the umbrella organisation of all major terrorist outfits”.
The central government had declared the JeI (J-K) ”banned outfit” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on February 28.
During the intervening night of February 22 and 23, the police had carried out a crackdown on Jamaat cadre and arrested 100 across the Valley, including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz and advocate Zahid Ali (spokesperson).
While banning the Jamaat under the anti-terror law, the Centre reasoned that the group was intending to escalate its subversive activities, including attempts to carve out an Islamic state out of the Union of India by destabilizing the government-established law.
The group is also expected to escalate secessionist movement, support militancy and incite violence in the country, a government notification had said.
The outfit, which was formed in 1945 as a chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and separated in 1953 due to differences over political ideology with the parent body, was banned in 1990. That lapsed in 1995.
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 Sajad 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 a powerful Majlis-e-Shoora (advisory council) which takes decisions on important issues through consensus.
The second tier of the organisation consists of Rukn-e-Jamaat (pillar of Jamaat), who in turn elect the Majlis-e-Shoora. The number of Rukn-e-Jamaat can vary from 100 to 300 but for getting into this elite group, one has to fulfil certain criteria which can take more than a decade at least.