SRINAGAR: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has banned Jamat-e-Islami for the next five years. The decision came almost a fortnight after the more than 250 of its activists including the entire leadership was rounded up.
Reports appearing in the media said the central government has declared the over seventy years old party as an “unlawful association” having the potential to disrupt the unity and integrity of the country.
A notification issued by the MHA has termed the party’s activities “prejudicial to internal security and public order”. The order claims the party is “in close touch with militant outfits and supports extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.” It said the party is involved in “anti-national and subversive activities” intended to “cause disaffection”.
The government said if the group’s activities are not curbed immediately, it is likely to “escalate its subversive activities including an attempt to carve out an Islamic State out of the territory of Union of India”, continue advocating the secession of Jammu and Kashmir, and propagate “anti-national and separatist” sentiments.
Kashmir’s grand old socio-religious organisation that was the main force behind the 1987 Muslim United Front (MUF), the Jamaat has been contesting polls between 1965 and 1987. Syed Ali Geelani has been its key member who was elected to the state assembly thrice.
Indira Gandhi banned Jamaat in 1975 emergency, and later with the onset of militancy, it was banned again. It is the third time since its inception in 1942 that the party was termed “unlawful”.
At the peak o militancy, the party had a lot of its cadres joining militancy. It, however, distanced from militancy in 1997. The subsequent developments led to its vertical split with Syed Ali Geelani staying away from the party for giving low priority to the politics of the place.
Jamaat formed most of the persons who were detained in the last two weeks across Kashmir after the Lethpora car bomb explosion.