Skip to main content

Operation All Out? Ban on Jamaat-e-Islami in J&K part of "ongoing repression": PUDR

Counterview Desk
The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), a civil liberties and democratic rights organization based in Delhi, believes that there aren’t sufficient grounds for banning Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), insisting, the ban has been instituted as part of the “ongoing repression” in the Kashmir Valley. Seeking revocation of the ban, PUDR says, the ban suggests the “cavalier attitude” of the Government of India, which has “ignored” provisions of law and Supreme Court judgments.

Text of the statement:

PUDR draws attention to the illegality behind the decision of the Central Government-ruled Jammu and Kashmir to ban Jamaat-e-Islami of Jammu and Kashmir on February 28, 2019. While attention has been focussed on the escalation and de-escalation of tension between India-Pakistan, the Central Government has intensified repression in the state. The J&K administration has picked up hundreds of persons and booked them under preventive detention laws. Thus far, reports suggest over 300 persons have been detained.
The ban on Jamaat-e-Islami is part of this ongoing repression. The Central Government has invoked the ban by simply issuing a gazette notification, which, as it turns out, is illegal. Drawing upon the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, the notification states that the JeI is an “unlawful organisation” and the ban has been invoked with “immediate effect” (S 3(3) UAPA).
The ‘immediate effect’ clause is meant to override the time lag involved in forming a Tribunal and in adjudicating the Government’s decision (S 4(4)). However, for such a decision to be implemented, the Government must provide ‘additional grounds’ as mandated in the Supreme Court judgment of 1994, Mohammad Jafar v Union of India.
The UAPA, under which the JeI has been banned, stresses on the primacy of “grounds”: “Every such notification shall specify the grounds on which it is issued” (S.3(2)). Equally, the Tribunal, when formed, must be furnished with “all the facts on which the grounds are specified in the said notification are based” (Rule 5(ii) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Rules, 1968).
‘Grounds’ are not ‘opinions’ or subsidiary evidence; they comprise facts which are meant to substantiate the notification. Grounds, as pointed out in another Supreme Court decision in the context of preventive detention, Vakil Singh vs. State of J&K (1974), “must contain the pith and substance of primary facts but not subsidiary facts or evidential details.”
Therefore, without specifying ‘grounds’, the February 28 notification banning the JeI ceases to be lawful and the “immediate effect” clause loses credibility. Worse, the notification is an illegal order which in contempt of the apex court judgment of 1994.
The cavalier attitude of the Central Government, in ignoring the provisions of the law, and in dismissing the apex court’s judgements, is a mark of arrogance. Perhaps, this arrogance is in line with the reasoning that since J&K is a “Disturbed” area and military suppression has been going on for three decades, there is no need to follow the Government’s own laid-down law.
Since the Government has illegally invoked the “immediate effect” clause, JeI members, sympathisers, supporters as well as their kith and kin automatically become liable to arrest and criminally prosecuted for their membership of, or support for, a banned organisation.
Further, any form of legitimate protest on the ban can be treated as an instance of anti-nationalism. This is exactly what happened when the Governor of J&K, Satya Pal Malik, condemned the former People’s Democratic Party Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s protest on the JeI ban as an ‘anti-national’ act!
Remarkably, JeI was banned for a few years between 1990-95. In 1997, it severed its ties with the militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen and went so far as to snap ties even with one of its own longstanding members, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, when he formed Tehreek-i-Hurriyat in 2004. JeI then declared that it was keen on performing ideological and social work.
Against this history, the February 28 notification has authorized a crackdown on JeI members and has led to the sealing and seizure of assets of members. The crackdown has a much wider impact, as the JeI runs schools which employ 10,000 teachers and teach as many as 100,000 students, who face a grim future for no fault of theirs.
The JeI ban and simultaneous arrests under preventive detention provisions are part and parcel of J&K’s history as a “Disturbed Area” in which legal impunity has operated for three decades. In a scenario where all forms of expression and activities by Kashmiris remain severely curbed and military suppression under “Operation All Out” continues, this ban furthers repression by turning legitimate activities into criminal ones and by coercing and silencing the resistance of the Kashmiris.
PUDR is concerned about the intensification of repression on Kashmiris in the aftermath of the Pulwama February 14 suicide bombing and the February 26-27 Indo-Pak escalation and threats of military confrontation. PUDR condemns the ban and mass arrests and appeals to all democratic minded people to take note of the worsening situation in Kashmir which is in dire need of political healing, not further repression.

Comments

TRENDING

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Report on "torture" in Kashmir jails: 44% detainees stripped naked, 29% electrocuted

Counterview Desk
A recent report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, published by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), has claimed to build “on the body of human rights documentation on torture” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through an examination of 432 case studies. It seeks to focus on "the trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, contexts and impact of torture" in the state.

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gather…

Narmada valley: SC notice to Gujarat, MP, M'rashtra on submergence sans rehabilitation

By Our Representative
Thr Supreme Court has issued notice to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments following a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)-backed petition seeking the explanation as to whether large areas of Narmada Valley have gone into submergence by filling up the Sardar Sarovar dam up to the full reservoir level (FRL) without rehabilitating the project affected families (PAFs).

Historic Chikhalda, temples, mosques submerged, activists 'rescue' Gandhi idol

By Medha Patkar
The first farmer of Asia was born in Chikhalda, if one is to believe archaeological researchers. A historic village, 50 percent of its population is of Hindus and 50 percent of Muslims, yet it has always remained peaceful. Chikhalda has struggled to save water, land and people along Narmada river.