J&K Police cracks down on banned outfit Jamaat-e-Islami, affiliates

A State Investigation Agency (SIA) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police raided multiple places owned or used by the banned group Jamaat-e-Islami and its affiliate Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT).

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J&K SIA raided several locations after the court of special judges, as designated by the NIA, issued search warrants (Photo: File)

The State Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday carried out searches at multiple locations owned and used by banned Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and its affiliate Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT) in four districts of the valley, an official said.

Jammu and Kashmir School Education department had in June directed cessation of academic activities in FAT-affiliated schools and asked chief education officers of various districts to seal the institutions within 15 days in consultation with the district administration.

In March 2019, the central government had banned JeI for a period of five years citing reasons that the socio-political and religious organisation was in close touch with militant outfits.

FAT offices at Salamatabad area of Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla, Nowgam chowk in Srinagar and south Kashmir's Anantnag bus stand and Kulgam main Bazar were raided after search warrants were issued by the Court of Special Judge, designated under NIA (TADA/POTA), Srinagar, a spokesperson of the SIA said.

The official said FAT, in the past, had been proscribed by the government and subsequent to which several litigations were lodged by JeI management, seeking immunity against legal action.

"During the quasi-judicial proceedings ban on JeI, evidence had come on record that one of the major methods of propagating its secessionist agenda had been to maintain control over a parallel school system.

"Bedsides, creating such properties by encroaching government or community land, FAT, as per reports, has used its connections with Hizbul Mujahideen terror group to regularise such encroachments," the SIA said.

The official said it is a matter of investigation as to how many known JeI members are represented in the management and teaching faculty of these schools.

"It is also to be investigated how many members of the management of the trust are known to be former office bearers of JeI," the official said.

The SIA said the public interest aspect of the investigation lies in the fact that in several stages of the 30-year-old secessionist and terrorist campaign, Hizbul Mujahideen had burnt down several government schools across the length and breadth of the valley.

"The correlation between destroying government facilities on one hand and creating parallel private facilities where co-curricular and extracurricular programmes can be leveraged to influence young minds that are inherently in support of a long-term secessionist campaign and not always necessarily by picking up arms is also a matter of investigation," the official said.

During the searches, the official said incriminating material including laptops, cash books, cheque books and land documents having bearing on the investigation of the case were recovered and seized.

"Analysis of the data will follow and leads will become the basis for further investigation," the official said.

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