Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the ban on schools run by Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT), an affiliate of banned Jamaat-e-Islami, was another form of atrocity inflicted on the people of the Union territory to sabotage their future.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president tweeted, “Move to ban FAT affiliated schools is another form of atrocity inflicted on people of J&K to sabotage their future. After land ownership, resources & jobs the last target is education. I am sure Kashmiris will overcome this & not let their children suffer.”
On June 14, the Jammu and Kashmir school education department ordered that academic activities be stopped at schools run by the Jamaat-affiliate trust. Around 11,000 students were enrolled in these banned institutions. The government has asked chief education officers to seal the institutions within 15 days in consultation with the district administration.
Other political parties have also expressed resentment over the decision. Jammu Kashmir Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari has urged lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha to reconsider the decision. “The ban on FAT-run schools is unwarranted and an uncalled for decision in light of academic contributions of such schools in the spread of moral education in Kashmir,” he had said.
Calling the ban “discriminatory,” Peoples’ Conference (PC) president Sajad Lone, said, “Selectively cracking down on institutions with religious affiliations is grossly unfair. The administration must understand that J&K is an overwhelmingly Muslim-majority state and it cannot possibly ban every institution because they have a bias against Muslims. It seems they are intentionally targeting the Kashmiris for petty electoral gains in the rest of the country.”
In 2019, Jamaat-e-Islami had been banned for five years on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and was expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state. The recent order comes in the backdrop of a probe conducted by the State Investigation Agency (SIA), which alleged illegalities, frauds, and mass-scale encroachment of government lands by the trust.