SRINAGAR — Dozens of Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) leaders including party chief were arrested by state forces during nocturnal raids in many parts of the Kashmir valley.
In a statement, JeI Spokesman said during the intervening night of 22-23 February, police and other forces agencies launched “mass arrest drive” and raided many houses in valley wherein dozens of its central and district level leaders were arrested.
“Those detained including Ameer Jama’at Dr 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,” said the spokesman.
Condemning the detentions, he said the move seems a “well designed ploy and that there was something fishy when the state’s special position is listed in Supreme Court.
“Article 35(A) which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is being heard within days and the way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jama’at members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains. Any attempt of eroding or tempering Article 35(A) is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti questioned the legality of the crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir leaders, saying the “arbitrary” move will only “precipitate matters” in the state.
“In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders & workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters in J&K,” Mehbooba tweeted.
“Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas,” she said.