June 14, 2022 11:30 pm

Govt Orders Closure Of Schools Run By Jama’at-e-Islami Kashmir Affiliate

File photo of Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT) run school in Bandipora

Over 300 Edu Institutions Run By Falah-E-Aam Asked To Cease Academic Activities

Srinagar- The Jammu and Kashmir School education department on Monday ordered the cessation of academic activities in schools run by the Falah-e-Aam Trust (FAT), an affiliate of the now banned socio-religious organization, Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) Kashmir.

In an order, a copy of which lies with the Kashmir Observer, Principal Secretary (School education department) B K Singh directed the school education department for cessation of academic activities in FAT affiliated schools.
Singh has also asked chief education officers (CEO) of various districts to seal the FAT affiliated institutions within 15 days in consultation with the district administration.

“Whereas, in the meantime the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, in view of powers conferred by sub section (1) of the section-3 of the J&K Criminal Law Amendment Act,1983, declares/banned the Falah-l-Aam Trust Association/Organization (in short FAT) to be an unlawful Association vide SRO No.11.51, notified on 11 May 1990” reads the order.

As per the order, the students who are presently studying in FAT institutions have to admit themselves in nearby government schools for the current academic session(2021-22). “All CEOs/Principals/ZEOs shall facilitate the admission of these students,” the order further noted.

However, in its order, the Government hasn’t mentioned anything about the teachers who will be rendered jobless after the academic activities are shut down in these institutions.

Notably, the Government has also directed the school education department that no new admissions shall be taken in these banned FAT institutions and has also directed the chief and zonal education officers to widely publicize, in newspapers, that these institutions are no longer recognised.

Pertinently, the order has come in the backdrop of an FIR filed by Jammu & Kashmir Police’s State Investigation Agency (SIA) which alleges that FAT was involved in gross illegalities, outright frauds, and mass scale encroachment of government lands.

The Government has also alleged that in-spite of a ban on FAT, these institutions were being illegally operated in the pretext of an order of the High Court.

As per the Government, there are approximately 11000 students who are studying in these schools.

However, contrary to the Government claims, authoritative sources in the education department confirmed to Kashmir Observer that FAT is currently operating only 8 schools across Kashmir valley which include less than 2000 students and about 300 teachers.

“The government is creating an unnecessary issue out of nothing. Education has nothing to do with politics. It’s absolutely futile on part of the Government to shut down these institutions. They’re jeopardizing the future of students as well as teachers. On one hand, they [Government] say that they’re ready to admit students in Government schools but at the same time, they’re silent on the future of these 300 teachers who will be rendered jobless after this ban,” says an authoritative source in the education department.

“Banned organization JeI mostly draws its sustenance from the vast network of FAT schools, seminaries, orphanages, pulpits of mosques and other charities. Such institutions played a destructive role in large-scale unrests of 2008, 2010 and 2016 bringing huge miseries to common people and forcing them for shutdowns by threat, intimidation and street violence.” officials told an agency.

They have also alleged that almost all FAT schools numbering over 300 have been found to be existing on illegally acquired government and community lands.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir