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.
Caged Mehbooba gets new winter home
Srinagar, Nov 15: Ending speculations, detained Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti was shifted from Cheshmashahi hut to a ministerial bungalow at Moulana Azad Road Srinagar on Friday.
The development comes 10 days after her daughter Iltija Mufti tweeted a letter she had written to district development commissioner Srinagar urging him to shift her to “suitable location” in view of her falling health.
“As you are aware, my mother Ms Mehbooba Mufti, former CM of J&K has been jailed since August 5. A doctor recently ran multiple tests on her as she wasn’t keeping well. As per those tests, her Vitamin D3, haemoglobin and calcium levels are low,” Iltija had written in her letter.
Waking up to Mehbooba’s falling health, J&K government decided to shift her to a location equipped with proper heating arrangements.
Earlier, there were speculations that she might be shifted to Jammu.
However, on Friday government bit the bullet and shifted her to a new location in Srinagar. “The Cheshmashahi hut where she was under detention is not equipped with adequate heating arrangements. She has been shifted to a posh bungalow which served as an official residence of former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh. It is equipped with adequate heating arrangements,” a source said.
Mehbooba was detained few hours before Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories on August 5.
The PDP chief earlier refused to meet her party leaders last month fearing it might be projected as normalcy by Centre.
Mehbooba is among three former chief ministers including Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, who have been jailed since August 5. While Farooq, who was slapped with Public Safety Act, has been detained in his home, Omar is lodged at Hari Niwas guest house, which has been designated as sub jail.
Government has also decided to shift political detainees from Centaur Hotel to a private hotel at Shivpora Sonawar.
Detained politicians refuse to sign bonds
Srinagar, Nov 15: Centre’s fresh overtures have failed after incarcerated political leaders refused to sign the bonds to secure early release from jails.
At least 31 leaders of National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference and Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement are under detention at the Centaur Hotel on the banks of Dal Lake since Centre abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two union territories.
Sources said authorities approached detainees several times in recent past to persuade them to sign a bond for their release. “Farooq, Omar, and Mehbooba have also been approached several times by authorities. They however have refused to sign the bond. These leaders are adamant and they won’t budge an inch from their stand on Article 370 and bifurcation of state,” sources said.
Officials said leaders will face prolonged detention and won’t be released unless they sign a bond. “Political leaders will be shifted from Centaur Hotel to a hotel in Sonawar or MLA hostel Srinagar,” they said.
Mehbooba’s daughter Iltija Mufti confirmed that government made several attempts to get her mother sign a bond, which she refused. “I don’t know when exactly she was recently approached for signing on bond”, she said.
National Conference MP from Anantnag, Justice (retd) Hasnian Masoodi said detention of political leaders was “unjustified without any legal grounds”.
“Why should political leaders sign bond to secure their release? Signing bonds will mean that were against peace. Government should understand what position they (political detainees) have held and their detention is unjustified,” Masoodi said.
Detainees are supposed to deposit Rs 10,000 as surety. And in case they breach the bond, they have to pay Rs 40,000. Under Section 107, the bail bond asks detainees “not to commit a breach of peace” or “do an act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace”.
PDD to issue curtailment schedule next week:More power cuts in offing
Srinagar, Nov 16: Valleyities have all reasons to worry as darker nights are in the offing with Power Development Department (PDD) issuing electricity curtailment schedule in next four days.
Kashmir has been facing abrupt power cuts since November 7, when valley received season’s first snowfall.
An official of Power Development Department said there would be further reduction in power supply from next week.
“There will be at least 6-hour power curtailment in metered areas and over 8-hour load shedding in non-metered areas of Srinagar district,” the official said.
In other districts, the official said, there will be 6 to 8 hours power curtailment in metered areas and over 8-hours in non-metered areas.
As per rules, metered areas are bound to get round the clock power supply.
Chief Engineer, Power Development Department, Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi told The Kashmir Monitor hat there is a need for power curtailment schedule in view of the increase in demand.
“We did not curtail power this year till snowfall hit Kashmir on November 7. The load has increased now. We are framing power curtailment schedule which will be issued within three to four days,” he said.
On chances of any improvement in power supply this year, he said it all depends on the people. “If they use electricity judiciously, then there will be improvement in power supply. We have to optimize things from available resources.”
The PDD has 1200 MWs of electricity available. However, during winters, the demand reaches over 2000 MWs.
Centre has been allotting additional 700 MWs of power to Jammu and Kashmir in view of higher demand in winters. However, PDD has failed to augment existing infrastructure to receive additional electricity from the central grids.
At the same time, PDD is yet to restore electricity in various parts of Kashmir since November 7.
“Towers have collapsed at various places resulting electricity could not be restored in Magam, Beerwah, Arizal and Khaag areas,” Qazi said.