Mehbooba leads PDP protest against Centre ban on Jamaat in J&K
Srinagar: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday led a protest rally of her party in Anantnag district against the Centre's ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir for allegedly having close ties with militant outfits and demanded revocation of the decision.
The former state chief minister led scores of her party activists at the rally in the south Kashmir district.
A large number of PDP workers and leaders took part in the protest held outside a housing colony in Khanabal area. They raised slogans demanding revocation of the ban and release of Jamaat leaders and activists detained during a crackdown by police last month.
Speaking to reporters, Mufti warned she would intensify her protest if the ban is not lifted.
"Our imams and moulvis are being arrested. 70- and 80-year-olds are being jailed. Offices of JeI have been sealed. People having Ahli-Hadith ideology are also being jailed. PDP is protesting against all this. We will not allow this muscle power.
"We will protest at district level and then in every (assembly) segment. We want the ban to be revoked and these elderly people be released. Also, people should be told what their crime is, what is the charge that they face, what is the evidence on the basis of which they have been jailed," the PDP president said.
The Centre on February 28 banned the Jamaat for five years under an anti-terror law on grounds that it was "in close touch" with militant outfits and is expected to "escalate secessionist movement" in the state.
A notification, banning the group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs after a high-level meeting on security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The ban follows a massive crackdown on the outfit in the Valley. Around 150 leaders and activists of the outfit have been detained in raids across Kashmir.
Several properties belonging to the outfit or its leaders have been seized by the government since the ban was imposed.