Banned J&K Group In Talks With Centre Ahead Of Amit Shah’s Srinagar Visit

JeI was banned in 2019 as an unlawful organisation under the anti-terror law UAPA.


The banned group Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) has said it is engaged in talks with the Centre and expressed its willingness to contest elections if the ban on the Islamist organisation is lifted in Jammu and Kashmir.

The statement has come ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Srinagar this evening.

JeI was banned in 2019 as an unlawful organisation under the anti-terror law UAPA. JeI was seen as the driving force behind the separatist movement in Kashmir and an ideological mentor of the terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen.

Mr Shah is meeting several delegations in Srinagar and there is a buzz about whether a Jamaat delegation will also meet the Home Minister.

Official sources, however, said there is no plan of a meeting between Jamat leaders and the Home Minister during his Srinagar visit. 

“There is engagement with the group at some level but no such meeting is scheduled with the Home Minister,” the source said. He added that the leaders of some political groups will be meeting Mr Shah and he will review the political situation in the Valley. 

Ghulam Qadir Wani, a senior JeI leader said that the party wants to move on participating in elections if the Centre lifts the ban. Mr Wani said the decision to join the democratic process has the backing of Jamaat’s Majlis-e-Shoora, the highest decision making body of the Islamist group.

“We have the backing of Majlis-e-Shoora. The Shoora has taken a decision. Jamaat is an ideology and we want to restore the Jamaat,” said Mr Wani. “We want the ban on Jamaat to be lifted and for that, we are engaged in talks with the Centre,” said Mr Wani.

Mr Shah had said the JeI and Hurriyat Conference, who did not believe in the Constitution earlier, had voted in Srinagar.

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah has also demanded the lifting of the ban on JeI after the group said it is ready to contest elections.

The National Conference leader has appealed to the Home Minister to lift the ban a day before his Srinagar visit.

Mr Abdullah said that Jamaat should directly contest polls instead of discreetly helping other parties in elections which they have been doing in previous elections.

The major shift in Jamaat stand, shunning separatist ideology and embracing mainstream politics is a major success for the central government in the middle general elections.