Mehbooba leads protest against Jamaat ban in Anantnag, says ‘interference in religion intolerable’

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday led a protest in Khanabal area in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district against the recent ban on Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI).

According to reports, a large number of PDP workers and leaders took part in the protest held outside housing colony in Khanabal.

The protesters raised slogans to demand the release of hundreds of JeI workers detained in a massive crackdown last month.

Mehbooba warned of more protests if the ban on JeI was not lifted. “The arrest of members of JeI, moulvis and Imams affiliated with Ahli-Hadith is a direct interference in our religious affairs. We won’t tolerate this,” she said while talking to the media.

ALSO READ: Crackdown on Jama’at-e-Islami: It began on the night of sabre-rattling

The JeI, a socio-political organisation, was banned last week by the Union Home Ministry on “opinions” that it is in “close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism and militancy”, supporting claims for “secession” and was also involved in “anti-national and subversive activities”.

Recently, National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said that his party has always opposed Jamaat-e-Islami in the political space, however GoI’s crackdown on them will serve no purpose.

In a series of tweets, the former Chief Minister also pointed out that the ban will drive their activities underground.

ALSO READ: Jamaat ban: Future of 300 schools, over one lakh students at stake

On the contrary, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti has vehemently opposed the ban. Mufti recently asked that why is Government of India is so ‘uncomfortable’with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

“While Hindu groups are given ‘carte blanche to spread misinformation & vitiate the atmosphere. But an organization that has worked tirelessly for Kashmiris is banned,” she said in a tweet.

She also pointed out that ‘ideas cannot be banned or jailed, need a better idea to replace it.’

Jamaat, in their statement, termed the imposition of ban on the party as ‘unconstitutional, undemocratic and unethical’.

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