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

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.