New Delhi: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday launched a protest in Anantnag against the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) ordered by the Centre.

Speaking to media, she said, “We want that the ban must be lifted. We’ll go to district level now, then we will go to every segment. Elderly people who have been arrested must be released.”

The government last week, declared the JI Jammu and Kashmir as “an unlawful association whose activities have the potential of disruption the unity and integrity of India,” and banned it for five years under anti-terror laws.

In addition, three leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami were arrested and nearly a dozen assets sealed during raids across six districts of Jammu region on Sunday. The day-long raids on the offices and houses of Jammat leaders and activists were conducted in Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu districts, during which a large quantity of incriminating documents were seized for scrutiny, a police officer said.

Mohammad Majeed Sheikh, Mohammad Iqbal Naik and Ghulam Qadir Bhat were arrested from Kishtwar district, PTI reported. Ghulam Nabi Gundana, another Jamaat leader, was put under house arrest. Two other activists of the organisation were detained in Doda and released later after questioning.

He said at least six bank accounts linked to JI have been identified and the banks directed to immediately freeze them. All schools run by Jamaat in the districts were searched during the raids on Saturday, the officer said adding these schools were not sealed but are being kept under surveillance.

This move came in the Pulwama terror attack aftermath, when reports emerged that Jamaat was the political front of Pakistan based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). The group categorically denied this allegation.

According to reports, it was formed in 1945 as a chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the outfit separated in 1953 due to ideological and political differences with the parent body. It was banned in 1990 but after the previous ban lapsed in 1995 and it was never invoked again.


With PTI inputs