Central government has imposed ban of Jamaat-e-Islami in Jammu and Kashmir. The ban follows a week after a major crackdown on the Jamaat during which dozens of its leaders and functionaries including Amir (chief) Jamaat Dr Hameed Fayaz and Naib Amir (deputy chief) Ghulam Ahmad Parray were arrested.
A notification to this effect issued by home ministry of India said that Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) activities were “prejudicial to the internal security and public order and have potential of disrupting the unity and integrity of the country”.
“Jamaat-e-Islami is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. JeI is supporting claims for secession of a part of the Indian Territory from the union and supporting terrorists and militant groups fighting for this purpose by indulging in activities and articulation intended to disrupt the territorial integrity of India”, the notification said.
Jamaat has been banned for a period of five years.
Jamaat is politico-religious party which has contested elections before the advent of militancy in 1990. In 1972 assembly elections Jamaat won five seats. Its win was reduced to one in 1977 while in 1983 it drew a blank.
However, in 1987, Jamaat emerged as a major political actor bringing together a number political groups and formed Muslim United Front (MUF) to confront National Conference-Congress alliance in the assembly elections.
Mohammad Yousuf Shah, now known as Syed Salahuddin was also among the candidates Front fielded across the state.
NC-Congress alliance won the elections allegedly by committing massive rigging. MUF won just four seats.
The manipulation in the elections proved watershed and entire political syatem was replaced by militancy.
This is third time that the Jamaat Islami faces the ban
Jamaat-e-Islami was first banned in 1975 by then chief minister Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah in the wake of emergency imposed in India by them Prime Minister Indira Gandhi following a court order convicting her for electoral malpractices, and debarring her from holding any public office for six years.
Emergency in India was declared on June 25, 1975. Initially, it was not extended to Jammu and Kashmir. It was after 10 days (on the intervening night of July 5 and 6) that state of emergency was extended to Jammu and Kashmir. Syed Ali Geelani , in his autobiography—Wullar Kinare (On the banks of Wullar)—says that Indira Gandhi was not in favor of imposing emergency in Jammu and Kashmir but Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah persuaded her to do so. Geelani says that Abdullah took the alibi of emergency to crush his political opponents, mainly Jamaat-e-Islami.
Hundreds of Jamaat leaders were arrested under the draconian Preventive Detention Act and lodged in different jails. The party offices were sealed. Its official organ ‘Azan’, a daily newspaper, was banned. Jamaat was running a chain of schools across the state. All schools, which numbered around 120, were closed down.
The ban on Jamaat lasted for 22 months, and lifted following Indira Gandhi’s defeat and emergence of Janata Party in 1977-parliamentary elections.
Jamaat was again banned in April 1990 when militancy erupted in Kashmir. Governor Jagmohan repeated what Shiekh Abdullah had earlier done with Jamaat. The entire leadership and hundreds of its lower, and middle-rung activists were arrested, schools closed down and offices sealed. Though ban was originally imposed for two years but Jamaat activities as an organized group remained suspended till 1997 when Ghulam Mohammad Bhat took over as the chief of the Jamaat