New Delhi: The Centre has constituted a tribunal headed by a Delhi High Court judge to decide whether there is sufficient cause for declaring Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir as an unlawful association. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 23 issued a notification which states that Justice Mukta Gupta would head the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Justice Gupta is presently heading another tribunal set up under UAPA to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause to extend the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as an unlawful association. The tribunal’s proceedings with regard to the ban on SIMI commenced on February 28 and is ongoing.
As the proceedings against SIMI commenced, the same day, the Centre banned Jamat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir for five years under the anti-terror law on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and is expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state.
The government in its February 28 notification banning JeI said it was of the opinion that the Jamaat is “in close touch with militant outfits” and is supporting extremism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere. It said the outfit claims “secession of a part of the Indian territory from the union” and supporting terrorist and separatist groups fighting for this purpose.
The action came following the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. There have been allegations in the past that the group was a political outfit of banned terror organisation Hizbul Mujahideen but the group has denied.
The outfit, which was formed in 1945 as a chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and separated in 1953 due to differences over political ideology with the parent body, was banned in 1990. The previous ban lapsed in 1995 and since then it has never been invoked again.