Did banned Jamaat-e-Islami-J&K enjoy ‘political patronage’ earlier?

New Delhi, Feb 28 – The Home Ministry extended the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K) for five more years on Tuesday while reiterating its resolve to crack down on any and every separatist force igniting or fanning anti-India sentiments.

Announcing the fresh five-year ban on the Kashmir unit of the Islamist group, Home Minister Amit Shah said on X, “Anyone conspiring against the nation will face ruthless measures.”

The clampdown on the group came in the backdrop of its involvement in activities against the security, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

Notably, Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K) is not the only group to face music under the NDA government for seditious activities. Prior to this, the Popular Front of India (PFI), widely believed to be the revamped version of SIMI, had received similar ‘treatment’ by the Centre.

Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic organisation with its origin in early 1940s, splintered into multiple factions and went on to become independent organisations in both India and Pakistan, after the Partition in 1947.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, the India-specific group, was formed in Allahabad in 1948, with objectives of Muslims’ welfare, but over the years, it came more under the influence of radicals and fundamentalists and also got banned twice for anti-national activities.

Though the bans were revoked by the Supreme Court on both occasions, the group’s radical propaganda kept ‘increasing and flourishing’ under different parties and state governments, particularly under the ones belonging to the INDIA bloc.

Today, the group has also ventured into the political landscape and has an outfit named the ‘Welfare Party of India’, with its operations mostly limited to Kerala.

The Islamic outfit was apparently miffed with the recent ‘saffron sweep’ in three states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and raised questions over the country, especially the Hindi heartland, coming in the ‘grip of communal politics’.

It also asked other parties to do self-introspection and prepare a roadmap on how ‘communalisation’ of politics could be stopped.

Notably, Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K), having been formed as a separate entity from the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind in 1952, has been a strong votary of conducting plebiscite in the Kashmir Valley.

But, despite its open backing for terror forces in the Valley, it enjoyed support and political patronage of those J&K parties catering to the Islamic vote-bank.

The organisation received a major blow, apparently for the first time, in February 2019 when the Narendra Modi government imposed a five-year ban on it under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

“Jamaat was in close touch with militant organisations and was expected to ‘escalate subversive activities’, including attempts to carve out an Islamic state out of the Indian territory,” said the then government notification.

Many of its leaders and activists were also arrested after searches and raids.

In the latest order, the MHA reiterated the group’s support to extremism and militancy in Jammu & Kashmir, and also in other parts of the country.

Last year, the Jamaat-e-Islami (J&K) had hogged headlines over Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the US in June 2023. A person named Tanzeem Ansari, with links to Jamaat-e-Islami, reportedly facilitated the registration process for the NRI interaction with Rahul Gandhi in New York.


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