Srinagar: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday banned the separatist group Jamaat-e-Islami in Jammu and Kashmir under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The separatist group had alleged role in anti-national and subversive activities and were closely connected with militant outfits, stated officials. A notification of the ban was issued by the MHA after participating in a high-level meeting on security held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The MHA notification read: “JeI is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy in J&K and elsewhere. JeI is supporting claims for the secession of a part of the Indian Territory from the union and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose by indulging in activities and articulations intended to disrupt the territorial integrity of India. JeI is involved in anti-national and subversive activities in the country intended to cause disaffection.”

Meanwhile, govt of India sources clarified that Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K), which has been banned, is the main organisation responsible for the propagation of separatist and radical ideology in Kashmir valley. This organisation has nothing to do with the Jamaat-e-Islami (Islamic political organisation in Pakistan). The government sources were quoted by news agency ANI as saying,  “Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K) is responsible for the formation of Hizbul Mujahideen, the biggest terrorist org active in J&K. JeI (J&K) has been providing support to HM in terms of recruits, funding, logistics, etc. In a way, HM is a militant wing of JeI (J&K).”

Last week, police conducted nocturnal raids across Kashmir and arrested more than 150 Jamaat leaders, including senior-most leaders. These arrests should be considered as ‘preparations’ for the upcoming polls, said police. Senior police officers reportedly said that the separatist group was actively involved in fuelling militancy. In the crackdown on the controversial socio-religious organisation, police arrested the key leaders who were identified as chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, advocate Zahid Ali, former secretary general Ghulam Qadir Lone, head of Anantnag unit Abdur Rouf and head of Tehsil Pahalgam Mudasir Ahmad.

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) was established during British India in 1941. The founder of this Islamic-political organisation and social conservative movement was Abul Ala Maududi, who is an Islamic theologian and socio-political philosopher. JeI follows an ideology based on the revolutionary conception of Islam in the modern era, similar to the one followed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Ikhwan al-Muslimin, founded in 1928, Egypt. After the partition of India in 1947, I was divided into Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in both the nations. This cadre-based organisation has its roots in Kashmir, much like the RSS.

In a similar crackdown in 2017,  police arrested the top leaders of Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami for allegedly planning to create “political anarchy” in the country, media reports said.