Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), a socio-religious group in the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) pushed youths towards militancy, says a senior official.
The central government on February 28, ordered a five-year ban on the group in the conflict riddled state of J&K for indulging in activities which are prejudicial to internal security and public order. It was charged with unlawful association and presumably had a close touch with militant outfits. The centre also alleged the JeI for supporting extremism and militancy in J&K. However, the organization’s general secretary Faheem Mohammad Ramzan said that their work was in the open for everyone to see.
The senior official said majority of the youths who joined terrorist groups were associated with the JeI through educational institutions or religious activities. “Earlier foreign terrorists killed were more in number but the trend has reversed in the past two years. More locals have joined militant ranks and more are getting killed”, said a senior official.
Before the ban, the Centre, in an internal note, said JeI has been using its network of schools to further promote anti-India feeling among the children in the Valley. “Its leaders have been encouraging cadres of the JeI youth wing-Jamiat-ul-Tulba to be recruited into terrorist outfits. Hardliner leaders of the JeI continue to maintain regular contact with the Pakistan High Commission for support”, says centre’s note.
Related Article:Kashmir: Defence Minister Reviews Security Situation
The Centre also claimed that the JeI has been collecting funds in the name of religious activities and using the same for ‘anti-national separatist activities’. The note highlighted that the JeI has several trusts for running schools to disseminate orthodox Islamic ideology. “Behind this facade, hardliners within the JeI have been involved with militant groups. The group was actively supporting militancy during 1988-99 under the influence of ISI. It patronized Hizbul Mujahideen and in the initial years was the backbone of HM”, adds note.
The security forces ensued a mass arrest in Kashmir in the first week of March and arrested JeI members including the Amir-e-Jamaat Abdul Hamid Fayaz, spokesman Zahid Ali and former secretary general Ghulam Qadir Lone.