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

HSBC shareholders seek exit from funding Adani's 'contentious' Australian coalmine

By Our Representative  In a move that may embarrass India's top business house known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shareholders of HSBC, a British multinational investment bank, the largest in Europe with total assets of US$2.715 trillion, are likely to decide at its AGM on May 28, 2021 a plan to exit coal financing related to the Adani Group, as it begins digging the Carmichael mega coal mine in Australia, reports Melbourne-based South Asia Times.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

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".

Ciminalising 'tool' created, name: Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Rejitha Nair* The year 2021 in Gujarat opened its account with 647 alleged land grabbing cases under investigation, 16 FIRs filed against 34 land grabbers within 35 days of Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020 (GLGPA), as informed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Gujarat State, in a press conference on January 22, 2021. He further informed that of 647 alleged cases, 605 applications of land grabbing were received by different collectors who have initiated suo moto proceedings in 42 cases. The total land in these cases is estimated to be around 1.35 lakh square metre, worth Rs 220 crore as per jantri rates (ready reckoner of land prices in different parts of the state). By March 15, 2021, at least six even cases are before the Gujarat High Court. Of about 11 cases reported in the daily newspapers, in three cases, grabbing of government land is charged, and the rest are land disputes between two individuals. The promptness of the district collect

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.