Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday led a protest against the ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir group, and called for the release of its arrested leaders, ANI reported.
The former chief minister held the protest in Anantnag district of South Kashmir. A large number of workers and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party participated in the protest, according to Greater Kashmir.
Mufti demanded that the government show citizens the evidence and the chargesheet based on which the leaders of the banned group were arrested. “We won’t let this hooliganism continue,” Mufti told reporters. “We will go to district level now, then we will go to every corner of Kashmir. Elderly people who have been arrested must be released.”
Last week, the Centre had declared the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir an “unlawful association” for a period of five years for activities “prejudicial to internal security and public order”. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in a notification, said the group has the potential to disrupt the unity and integrity of the country and was in touch with militant outfits.
The ban was imposed days after the Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a massive crackdown on leaders of the Jamaat by arresting close to 400 of its members. Kashmiri authorities have continued to seal properties of Jamaat-e-Islami and residences of some activists since then, even as they have said that schools, mosques and orphanages affiliated to the group will not be affected.
Mufti had earlier said the decision was an example of the government’s “high-handedness and muscular approach” to deal with Kashmir’s political issue. “The Jamaat-e-Islami is a social and political organisation,” she had said on Saturday. “It is an ideology and I do not think you can imprison an ideology by arresting some activists of the outfit.”
Jamaat-e-Islami is a socio-religious political organisation active in Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmir branch broke away from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and was founded in 1953. This is the third time in its history that Jamaat-e-Islami has been banned.