Authorities should instead arrest National Conference leaders for rigging 1987 elections: Sajjad Lone


SRINAGAR: In the continued crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami and other separatist outfits, police and security forces have arrested dozens of such elements during the raids in this week. The authorities have also sealed the head office of Jamaat-e-Islami at Baran Pathar in Batamaloo and many such offices across the Valley in the past few days.

Post-Pulawama attack, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to act tough against the separatists, especially Jamaat-e-Islami in Kashmir valley. The authorities have slapped Public Safety Act (PSA) on Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik and Jamaat spokesman Zahid Ali. Under PSA, they can be kept in detention for up to six months without any trial or court intervention.  The supporters of the separatist leaders have responded by going on protest and observing general strike in the Valley. Support has also come from People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti who held street protests in Anantnag demanding revocation of ban on Jamaat.

Describing it as a “socio-religious” organisation, Mehbooba said that the authorities were pushing to wall all the saner elements in Kashmir, including ailing senior Jamaat leaders. She has questioned the wisdom of the Central government of imposing a ban on Jamaat or slapping PSA on separatist leaders like Yasin Malik.

Hitting out at the Centre, Sajjad Gani Lone alleged that instead of arresting National Conference (NC) leaders for the rigging the 1987 elections, which, according to him, forced Jamaat and other such outfits to become separatist, the “victims” of that rigging are being arrested. He said that such crackdown on Jamaat and other separatists will further alienate the people of Kashmir from the mainstream.

After a lot of uproar in the Valley over the issue, the Governor’s administration has decided to keep the mosques and schools under the control of the separatists out of the ban and it has given relief to the students who are currently studying in these Jamaat-run schools.

Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday dismissed the criticism of mainstream political leaders on the imposition of ban and has asked them to exercise caution in their discourse.

Malik also said that some mainstream political leaders have crossed the line and are speaking the language of the separatists.

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