The People's Democratic Party and National Conference on Friday slammed the Centre's decision to ban Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, saying it is against the essence of democracy which allows space to opposing political thoughts. Former Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti termed the decision as another example of "muscular approach" of the Centre in dealing with the political issue and asked if "being anti-BJP is being"anti-national now".
"Democracy is a battle of ideas. Crackdown followed by banning of Jammat Islami (JK) is condemnable, another example of high handedness and muscular approach of GOI to deal with political issue of Jammu and Kashmir," she said in a tweet.
The Centre on Thursday banned the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for five years under anti-terror law on grounds that it was "in close touch" with terror outfits and is expected to "escalate secessionist movement" in the state.
A notification, banning the group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs after a high-level meeting on security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Why is the government so uncomfortable with Jamaat e Islami? Radicalised Hindu groups representing fringe elements are given carte blanche to spread misinformation and vitiate the atmosphere. But an organization that has worked tirelessly for Kashmiris is banned," she added.
National Conference general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar expressed dismay over the Centre'' decision, saying it will impede the process of reconciliation in the state, and demanded that the ban be rescinded.
"By ideologies, we mean a specific mind set. It has to be tackled by arguments. By banning JeI, the government will achieve nothing but give it a dissident glamour. The move will not help; it will rather impede the process of reconciliation and rapprochement in our state," he said.