The surge in local youth joining terrorist ranks spurred the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI-J&K), a socio-religious group that has been active in Jammu and Kashmir since 1942, a senior official said.
Most locals who joined terrorist groups were associated with the JeI, either through educational institutions run by it or religious activities, the official said.
In 2018, over 180 Kashmiri youths joined these groups, and around 56% were locals, the official said. The same year, 252 terrorists were killed in various operations and around 60% were locals.
“Earlier foreign terrorists killed were more in number but the trend has reversed in the past two years. More locals have joined the militant ranks and more are getting killed,” said the official.
An internal note from the Centre before the February 28 ban said the “JeI has been using its network of schools to further promote anti-India feeling among children in the Valley.”
“Its leaders have been encouraging cadres of the JeI youth wing- Jamiat-ul-Tulba to be recruited into terrorist outfits.” It added that hardline leaders of the JeI continue to maintain regular contact with Pakistan High Commission for support.
The State is presently under President’s rule and the ban comes ahead of the general elections.
In February, over 300 members of the JeI were rounded up by the police. Some were picked up before the ban came into force.
The detention and arrests came around the same time as the Indian Air Force (IAF) precision strikes at a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26. The Centre has claimed that the JeI has been collecting funds in the name of religious activities and using the same for ‘anti-national separatist activities’.