March 2019 News

Further Arrests Made, Offices Sealed In Parts Of South Kashmir

1 March 2019
Kashmir Reader
Suhail A Shah

Anantnag: Hours after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared socio-religious party Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) an 'unlawful association', government forces here in the valley swung into action and made further arrests of JeI activists from different parts. Nocturnal raids were conducted in Anantnag, Pulwama and Awantipora police districts from where more than a twenty people - most of them JeI activists - were arrested. The arrests come in continuation to the earlier detentions of more than 200 JeI activists over the past week. Jamaat President Abdul Hameed Fayaz is also among the arrested people. The government of India has put a ban of five years on the JeI, maintaining that the party 'has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to internal security and public order and have the potential of disrupting the unity and integrity of the country'. The authorities, however, are yet to take further action against the party including measures such sealing its offices and Tehsil and district-level set-ups across the valley. Though there were reports that the authorities have sealed Jamaat offices in Anantnag and Budgam districts, officials maintained that they were yet to take any such action. 'The DCs will have to be consulted for that. Why don't you talk to them?' Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan told Kashmir Reader when asked about the issue. The Deputy Commissioners Kashmir Reader talked to, on the other hand, have categorically refused to talk officially on the issue. One of the Deputy Commissioners said that there were many legalities to be considered before such moves are made. 'We are not sure yet what needs to be done and how. Let us wait till things get clearer,' the Deputy Commssioner in South Kashmir told Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity. The ban on JeI has come in for fierce criticism from almost all sections of society, including from some mainstream politicians as well. The people in general showed their resentment in some parts of the valley by observing a shutdown against the government move. A shutdown, followed by restrictions imposed by the authorities, was observed in main town Anantnag, Bijbehara and Arwini areas of the district here in South Kashmir. The authorities had laid concertina wires in main town Anantnag and restricted public movement to 'prevent any law and order situation' in the wake of the shutdown in the area. 'There were rumors that the main JeI office in Anantnag and the adjacent mosque (Bait-ul-Mukarram) has been occupied by the forces. We anticipated flaring-up of tensions in the area, so restrictions were imposed,' a police source told Kashmir Reader. Sources, however said this offices were sealed by police along with officials from revenue department in the evening along with others office premises at Pulwama, Budgam and Ganderbal.