In a Massive Crackdown Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Among 150 Detained in J&K, Ahead of Article 35A Hearing

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The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) Police on Saturday launched a massive crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir and detained dozens of its members including Jamaat chief. — Representational image

Jamaat-e-Islami condemned the police crackdown and said, “The move is a well-designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region.”

Caravan News

SRINAGAR — Nearly 150 people have been detained mainly Jamaat-e-Islami cadres in the Kashmir Valley, including its top leadership during mass crackdown ahead of the hearing of Article 35A in Supreme Court on Monday, according to reports.

The nocturnal raids were conducted in south, central and north Kashmir districts to mop up the senior-most members of the political group.

A spokesman of the Jamaat said those detained include the chief, (Ameer-e-Jamaat) Abdul Hamid Fayaz.

Jamaat-e-Islami in a statement condemning the crackdown said the police and other forces launched a mass arrest during the intervening night of 22-23 February and raided many houses and dozens of central and district level leaders were arrested. “The move is a well-designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region.”

“The way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jamaat members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains. Any attempt of eroding or tampering Article 35A is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.

Among those who were detained include: JeI chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, Advocate Zahid Ali (Spokesperson), Ghulam Qadir Lone (Former Secretary General), Abdur Rouf (Ameer, Zila Islamabad), Mudasir Ahmad (Ameer, Tehsil Pahalgam), Abdul Salam (Dialgam), Bakhtawar Ahmad (Dialgam), Mohammad Hayat (Tral), Bilal Ahmad (Chadoora), Ghulam Mohammad Dar (Chak Sangran) and dozens more, Times Now reported.

The hearing on Article 35A, which provides special rights and privileges to natives of Jammu and Kashmir, is likely to take place in the apex court on Monday.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik was also detained by the police in Srinagar on Friday. He has been lodged in a police station.

Mehbooba, Sajjad Lone question Jamaat-e-Islami raids

Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Peoples Conference (PC) chief Sajjad Lone on Saturday questioned the wisdom behind the detention of 150 people mainly Jamaat-e-Islami cadres.

Reacting to the overnight raids across the valley in which dozens of group’s leaders were detained, Mufti tweeted: “In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders and workers of Jamaat organization have been arrested.

“Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters… Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas.”

Lone, former state minister, also questioned: “Government seems to be on an arrest spree. Just a word of caution. Large scale arrests took place in 1990.”

“Leaders were ferried to Jodhpur and many jails across the country. Things worsened. This is a tried tested and failed model. Please desist from it. It won’t work. Things will worsen,” Lone said in his reaction to the detentions.

(With inputs from IANS)

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