Ban On JeI Jammu Kashmir Extended | About The Outfit Once Part Of Valley’s Electoral Politics

Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi there is a zero policy against terrorism and separatism.


Union Home Minister Amit Shah. | Photo: PTI

The Centre on Tuesday extended the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir for five years. The organisation, facing terrorism and separatism charges, was once part of the region’s electoral politics.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there is a zero policy against terrorism and separatism. Shah also said: “Anyone threatening the security of the nation will face ruthless measures.”

On micro-blogging site-X, Shah wrote: “Pursuing PM @narendramodiJi's policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and separatism the government has extended the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu Kashmir for five years. The organisation is found continuing its activities against the security, integrity and sovereignty of the nation. The outfit was first declared an 'Unlawful Association' on 28 February 2019. Anyone threatening the security of the nation will face ruthless measures.”


JeI’s turnover from electoral to separatist politics:

In the winter of 1997, JeI Jammu Kashmir’s then president Ghulam Mohammad Bhat had publicly distanced the organisation from militant outfit —Hizbul Mujahideen (Hizb), after the organisation’s eight years of association with the militancy.

In 90’s, Hizb’s then chief Master Ahsan Dar had announced the militant organisation as JeI’s “fauji bazu”(military wing).

Bhat’s decision in November 1997 was seen at that point of time as JeI’s transformation from extremist views to moderation post 90s. More so due to late Syed Ali Shah Geelani breaking away from JeI and forming his own party—Tehreek-e-Hurriyat. “Bab jihad”(godfather of jihad) Geelani’s disassociation from JeI, at least publicly, was also seen by security grid as a major victory at that point of time in Kashmir. Tacitly, late separatist Geelani enjoyed support from JeI.


From the start of militancy, JeI’s cadre faced wrath, particularly at the hands of counterinsurgents, known in Kashmir as ‘Ikhwanis’. The Ikhwanis were accused of killings, torture, rapes and arson in Kashmir. There are allegations that many JeI members, known as ‘Jamatis’, were allegedly killed by Ikhwanis.

Post 1997, JeI cadre witnessed respite, with them focusing on religious and social spheres in Jammu and Kashmir. Although, the cases of boys joining militancy with JeI background kept coming to fore, on the larger level the organisation saw some shift. Its activities were always on the radar of security grid. However, in March 2019, the government imposed ban on JeI, soon after Pulwama terrorist attack that left 40 soldiers dead.

The ban had come as a surprise to many, including mainstream political leaders at that time.

JeI was founded in Jammu Kashmir in 1942.

Post partition in 1947, JeI emerged on the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir. The party with its objective of “political Islam” pursued Syed Abul Ala Maududi’s ideology. It found its admirers in Kashmir during those years. Also, JeI encashed on the social discrimination faced by the peasantry class at the hands of landlords and upper castes in Kashmir during those times.

The organisation, with a set formal structure in place, began to gain ground in the Valley. Later, the organisation started participating in the elections after it acquired the mass support in many areas of the Valley. It was in 1972 that JeI won five out of 22 Assembly seats that it contested in Valley. Subsequently, in 1977, it won just one seat. In 1983 the JeI failed to open its account. In 1987, JeI, which contested under MUF(Muslim United Front), alleged of mass rigging.


Around the same time, JeI’s ‘Falah-e-Aam’ schools mushroomed in the Valley’s rural areas.

The schools came to be known as ‘Falah-e-Aam’, meaning - for the “welfare of masses”. It also began to conduct congregations or “ijitimas” on weekly, monthly and annual basis.

Jel held massive religious congregations known as “ijitimas”, which it used to hold annually, monthly and weekly.