Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Monday said that the ban on Jamaat-i-Islami seems to be a fixed match between the BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP) and the Peoples Democratic Party “for electoral gains”. He said the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has these days “started a new drama that she doesn’t care if she is put behind bars”.
“I fail to understand what she will be arrested for. Either, she is covertly playing a fixed match as it happens in Indian Premium League (IPL), where these sorts of allegations prop up time and again. And it looks to me that the ban on Jamaat is a result of that match fixing,” said Omar.
He was addressing the party workers in Damhal-Hanjipora Noorabad, the home constituency of senior NC leader SakeenaItoo. “While PDP, by showing sympathy and talking about injustice, will have an issue at hand in Kashmir, in other places BJP will claim that see how much they have choked the space of hardliners,” Omar said.
He said the process to ban JeI started once PDP joined hands with BJP.
“I have been saying this all along that the ban on Jamaat is inexplicable. I was CM for six years. At no point of time, I felt the need to ban Jamaat. We allowed them to carry on with their activities and things remained peaceful,” he said.
The JeI, a political-socio-religious organisation, was banned early this month 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 allegedly involved in “anti-national and subversive activities”.
A week before the ban, the government had launched a massive crackdown against Jamaat and detained around 400 top and middle-rung activists, some of them being ailing septuagenarians and octogenarians.
The ban on Jamaat has come under severe criticism from both separatists and mainstream organisations. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti even led a protest demonstration against the ban in Anantnag and threatened to hold such protests in every assembly segment of J&K if the curbs on the organisation were not lifted.
Omar, during his address, accused the PDP of turning southern Kashmir into a battlefield.
“Southern Kashmir was considered a bastion of PDP. But unfortunately it has turned into a hub of militancy. This change happened after 2014. Till then youth were not again moving towards militancy at this rate, the crackdowns were not happening to this extent, militants were not getting killed at this pace,” he said.
He reminded Mehbooba of claiming to have killed 200 to 300 militants during her stint as CM.
“South Kashmir has not been turned into blood arena by NC. So they (PDP) instead of blaming others should rather introspect that in last four years what situation they created here,” Omar said. Omar also reiterated his yesterday’s remark accusing New Delhi of “creating” new political parties in Kashmir to “suppress” the voice of the people, questioning why such parties were not launched from either Jammu or Ladakh regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
He, however, refused to name bureaucrat-turned politician Shah Faesal who along with former student activist Shehla Rashid Shora launched a political party—JK Peoples Movement—on Sunday.