New Delhi: Republic TV a few days ago had carried the pictures of Maulana Jalaluddin Umari as the commander inchief of Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir. Maulana Umari is the President of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH). The octogenarian maulana’s face was flashed on television screens across the world by India’s leading television channel.
Latest reports suggest that following protests from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind leadership, the Republic TV of Arnab Goswami has issued an apology for carrying the photos of Jamaat-e-Islami president. Jamaat had threatened to sue the TV channel if it failed to apologise for the blunder. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, a socio-religious organization has no contacts, whatsoever, with the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir.
In a tweet, Republic TV said, “During a broadcast of the news that Union Home Ministry banned Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, Republic TV inadvertently carried the pictures of Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umri, the President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Republic TV regrets and apologizes for the same. The channel has immediately made the correction”.
The Government of India banned Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir, despite serious concerns from human rights and civil liberties organizations across the troubled state and beyond. Around 300 leaders of the JEI Kashmir have been put behind bar and a large number of their offices as well as educational institutions run by the have been sealed. Political leaders across the spectrum have protested over the ban on Jamaat
Jamaat-e-Islami that has fought many elections in the past has delinked itself from political activities and has tried to keep it away from militant organisations. Shams Irfan, a journalist, while talking about the Jamaat’s recent activities says, “Over the years, Jamaat has tried to delink itself from the militancy, at least officially and their cadres were more into social work. But I fear the ban and crackdown might push them once again to the wall, which is something Kashmir can’t afford right now”.
Gowhar Geelani, a well-known Kashmir based journalist says that “The BJP is choking spaces for peaceful dissent and free speech. It seems they want to win next general elections using Kashmir’s political turf as a laboratory”.