New Delhi, May 30: Why is the Jamaat-ud-Dawa not banned in India as yet under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act)? The Jamaat-ud-Dawa figures in the list of organizations listed in the schedule to the United Nations Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism Order of 2007.
While this automatically imposes a ban in India, the question is whether this is enough and doesn't India need to ban it under the UAPA as this would give the police officials more power to act?
Home Ministry will look into the matter
The Home Ministry could end up facing a lot of questions if it does not act against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa. It is absolutely necessary for the Home Ministry to take steps and ban the group under the UAPA for several reasons, the main one being that it is the JuD which raises the funds for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
The Home Ministry says that it will look into the issue. We will examine why the Jamaat-ud-Dawa has not been banned as yet in India, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
JuD has been designated as terror group globally
The Jamaat-ud-Dawa which is the financial wing of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which carried out the 26/11 attack at Mumbai. It is a well established fact that under the garb of charity, the JuD has been collecting funds from across the world and channelizing it to the Lashkar.
There is ample evidence also to suggest that the war fought by the Lashkar in Kashmir is being funded by the JuD. Further evidence was found by both the United States of America and the United Nations about the activities of the JuD which led them to banning the outfit in the first place.
The activities of the JuD are not restricted to Pakistan and India alone. They have been accused of setting up charity units in Saudi Arabia. The money collected through these charity units have been diverted into the account of the Lashkar for terrorist related activities.
What a ban under the UAPA would mean?
Currently the JuD ban is applicable in India under the UN rules. However India would need to impose a ban under the UAPA as this would give the police and investigating agencies more power to deal with their operatives.
Trying an operative under the UAPA is always more effective. Moreover it becomes easier for the police to justify an offence committed in India. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967 is a law that was enacted to prevent unlawful activities by individuals and groups. When the government bans any group under this act, then an association with the group is considered to be illegal and could face an imprisonment up to seven years.
The same was done in the case of the ISIS too. While there was a ban of the ISIS in place under the UN rules, several police officials felt the need to impose the ban under the UAPA. In the cases pertaining to Shammiwitness and Areeb Majeed, the investigators were finding it hard to book cases as they had not committed an offence on Indian soil.
However with the ban under the UAPA, cases can be booked easily if an operative is found to be associated with the banned outfit. The police will be able to file stronger cases as operatives of an outfit banned under the UAPA becomes a terrorist even if he is just associated with such a group.
Pakistan too has not banned the JuD
Pakistan on the other hand was under immense pressure to ban the JuD. The directive to ban the JuD came from both the US and the UN. Pakistan told the world that steps were being taken to ban the outfit, but no such official order was ever issued. Till date the JuD continues to function openly in Pakistan.
The JuD has been cautious while operating in Pakistan. It always is seen alongside the Pakistan army when relief work is undertaken. This has provided the JuD with a safe cushion. The JuD which is headed by Hafiz Saeed who is also the Lashkar chief has several times challenged the Pakistan government to ban it.
The Pakistan is well aware of the repurcussions if it goes ahead and bans the JuD. Saeed is a strategic asset for the ISI in Pakistan and he controls a large number of terrorists. The ISI is aware that they need to handle Saeed with care since he also fights their proxy war in Kashmir.