Centre’s decision to ban Jamaat-e-Islami a right decision at a right time


by Farooq Ganderbali
The Centre’s decision to ban the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for a period of five years is a right decision at a right time. There is no doubt that Jamaat-e-Islami is in close touch with militant outfits, especially Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. The Jamaat was banned under anti-terror laws with the Centre aiming at preventing any escalation of secessionist movement in the state.
There were clear inputs from intelligence agencies that Jamaat was involved in activities intended at disrupting India’s integrity. If the group’s activities were not curbed immediately, it would continue to escalate its subversive activities including attempt to carve out an Islamic State out of the territory of Union of India and propagate anti-national and separatist sentiments. The cadre-based organisation is perceived to be the ideological parent of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest terror group in the Valley.
The police crackdown on the Jamaat was meant to ensure the smooth conduct of the upcoming general elections. The Jamaat leaders and activists have been detained under various provisions for preventive detention. The reason is their anti-election stand and campaign for election boycott.
The party, with pro-Pakistan leaning during the Plebiscite Front days and also during the eruption of militancy, pitches itself as socio-religious organisation working mainly in the field of education and awareness about Islam. But overtly or covertly, the party has not only been supporting but sustaining militancy right from 1990.
The Jamaat-e-Islami was an influential founder member of the Hurriyat Conference from its inception in 1993 till 2003, when the amalgam suffered a vertical split led by Syed Ali Geelani. The party currently has a cadre base of around 6,000 members in the state and also runs a network of schools, where they preach anti-India hatred.
After the 1987 state elections, the Jamaat abandoned electoral politics and after spread of militancy in 1989, it threw its weight behind the separatist movement. It was banned for five years in 1990, when security forces launched a severe crackdown on militancy. The ban was not reimposed at the end of the five-year period.