Although the administration claimed that prompt action had been taken as soon as violence started, members of the minority community alleged that for nine hours, there was no control on rioters, who indulged in looting and torching their business establishments.
Members of the minority business community in Kishtwar have threatened to move out of the area unless the state government took steps to provide security and pay compensation to them following the communal clashes, which broke out in the town on Eid.
“We want security and licenced weapons. The government should also compensate us for our losses in the arson on Friday,” said Rakesh Gupta, president of the Kishtwar Chamber of Commerce. Gupta alleged that members of the minority business community had incurred losses of a total Rs 80 crore in the clashes. If the government fails to fulfill our demands, we will migrate away from Kishtwar. We have been facing such attacks repeatedly,” said Gupta, who lost his garment showroom in the arson.
“Such clashes are not a new thing for us. We have faced such cases in 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008, but they were of a lesser magnitude,” he said.
Over 150 small and big business establishments were affected in the clashes, he said. “But the government will pay compensation of a few lakhs only and that is it,” Gupta said.
A total of 68 shops, seven hotels and 35 vehicles were damaged in the violence which also led to three casualties, Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu said.
“I have lost my entire business in a fire triggered by miscreants. Its value was over Rs 20 lakh and it was my livelihood,” said Khushi Ram Shan, whose two shops dealing with plywood retail and hardware was burnt down on Friday.
Vijay Kumar Parihar, who had recently obtained a loan to set up an eatery, was cursing himself for having opened a business in Kishtwar. “My shop was set on fire and my dream project is no more”, he said.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary (Home) Suresh Kumar told reporters that there was “no threat of migration”. “We will take confidence building measures and provide security wherever needed,” Kumar had said.
“According to local residents, minister of state for Home Sajjad Kitchloo had allegedly masterminded the attack on minority people. A conspiracy theory has brought him under cloud. All this happened when Kitchloo was present in Kishtwar and his role should be probed,” Naresh Gupta, the Congress MLC from Bhaderwah, said and added “From where did the rioters get guns? Why was curfew not imposed and implemented effectively on time to prevent loss of life and property”.
He questioned Kitchloo for turning down suggestions of the state administration to impose curfew on Eid day and lashed out at the state government for total “administrative failure” in dealing with communal clashes in Kishtwar.
“There was complete failure of civil and police administration in Kishtwar. They have no liaison with the people. No one was ready to meet them. This had aggravated the tensions and was the major reason for indefinite curfew for five consecutive days,” the people said.
Minorities have, meanwhile, decided that no individual or organisation will meet authorities or any delegation separately. The delegation would meet only under the aegis of Sanatan Dharam Sabha with representation of all parties and organisations, they said and warned the administration for trying to strike balance while making arrests in rioting cases”.
Condemning the killing, looting and vandalising of property of minorities in Kishtwar town, State VHP president Dr. Ramakant Dubey had asked that 100% compensation should be provided to the affected persons.
Dubey had also demanded arrest of Shahad Kichloo, son of Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo, who was directly involved in instigation and provocation of the mobs during the entire episode. He demanded that a case of conspiring and instigating people should be registered against him.
Talking to Organiser, Dubey blamed that in Jammu, some police persons were inciting the people who were peacefully agitating against this communal violence in Kishtwar, as some of them are surrendered militants who have been inducted in the state police.
In a bid to repeat 1990 when hundreds of thousand Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes and hearths in Kashmir Valley, Omar Abdullah led NC-Congress collision government allowed the antinational elements to raid Hindus in Kishtwar leading to communal tension in Jammu and Kashmir.
Panun Kashmir cautions people against conspiracy
Panun Kashmir convener Dr Agnishekhar cautioned the authorities in particular and the people of Jammu in general, against seemingly a big conspiracy that’s yet to unfold in its entirety to foment an unprecedented communal tension in Jammu. He said that the August 9 organised attack on Hindu minorities at Kishtwar is part of that conspiracy.
Condemning the large scale incidents of violence, arson, looting and vandalising he expressed apprehension that it might be a part of an intrigue to engineer minority cleansing from erstwhile Doda district. He expressed shock and anguished over the total collapse of civil and police administration due to which mob thrived on free for all situation for several hours. He maintained that a sinister design seems to have been orchestrated from across the border to keep security forces and civil cum police administration on tender hooks on one hand and push terrorists into this side of the border under a military cover from across the LoC and international Border.
J&K is not the private property of one family
Hitting at J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for his detention at Jammu airport as he was going to Kishtwar after the riots, senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said J&K is not the private property of one family. He charged the state government with playing politics on the riots and cautioned that this was another Pakistan design in which separatist forces were involved. “The entire police was a mute spectator. There are reports that a senior functionary of government was involved. Until army was in place, there was mayhem in Kishtwar. There is mayhem in all areas around Kishtwar,” he said.
Calling his detention an issue of secondary importance, Shri Jaitley said, “You are putting in place a system in J&K like in 1990. As if anybody going there only has intention of causing disturbance. What do we do in situations like this? Do we enforce censorship? Do we have an ostrich like approach,” he questioned. Even media has kept a stunning silence. It requires investigation,” he said.
Screening of Praznath in Delhi
A documentary on the plights of Kashmiri Hindus
Jammu-Kashmir People’s Forum and Pawani Production jointly organised the screening of a documentary based on the plight of Kashmiri Hindus who are languishing away from Kashmir and want to go back. The documentary, Praznath (the identity), has been produced and directed by senior journalist Shri Vivek Sinha. Former Union Minister Dr Subramanian Swamy, RSS National Executive member Shri Indresh Kumar and BJP spokesperson Smt Meenakshi Lekhi were also present on the occasion.
Shri Indresh Kumar said the rulers sitting in Delhi have always neglected the feelings of migrant Hindus. Smt Meenakshi Lekhi questioned the role of media for the interests of Kashmiri Hindus. Dr Subramanian Swamy spoke about Article 370. He stressed the need for generating a positive atmosphere so that the Kashmiri Hindus return to their birthplace. He said the documentary will strengthen the feeling of returning to the Valley by Kashmiri Hindus.
Set up a Minority Commission for Hindus too
With the growing atrocities against Hindus in the State where they are in minority, a demand has been raised to either set up a fresh minority commissions for the Hindus in the states where they are in minority or cover such Hindus in the existing Minority Commission. This demand has been made by a Delhi based activist Shri Prem Chand Bhandari, who has written to the BJP leadership in this regard.
In a letter to BJP Shri Bhandari said, “Justice requires that people of all faiths should be treated equally in all respects by virtue of Articles 14 & 15 of the Constitution. The benefits available to the so-called minorities should be made available to Hindus also in states where they are in minority. If this is not done, the Hindus will feel that they are discriminated on the ground of religion and they are being treated as second class citizens, which will not be good for the country.”
“The Hindus face multifaceted problems, which need to be studied in depth by the Think Tank of the BJP. A demand for Minority Commission for Hindus too, where they are in a minority, should be raised in all forums. The matter needs to be given wide publicity in print and electronic media besides being raised in Parliament. A Private Member’s bill should be brought before Parliament for discussion and enactment of suitable legislation by way of a new Act or as an amendment of the existing laws,” Shri Bhandari said in the letter.
He said the term minority has not been defined in the Constitution and various religious groups may be in majority in one State and a minority in other State(s). For example, Hindus are in minority in the States of Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Aruna-chal Pradesh and Mizoram. Muslims constitute a majority in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and a couple of districts in Kerala. Christians are majority in the states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram. Buddhists are majority in the State of Arunachal Pradesh.
Hand over entire Jammu region to army: Ashok Singhal
VHP patron Shri Ashok Singhal demanded to hand over entire Jammu region to the army, otherwise post-banishment of Hindus from Kashmir, the present attacks in Kishtwar would have far reaching reactions. In a statement issued in New Delhi on August 9, Shri Singhal said the ambush and carnage of five Indian soldiers by Paki Army by infiltrating into the Indian territory is a well-thought out strategic statement by them under orders from their handlers against the minorities and they have made it more clear by engineering wide-spread violence in the Kishtwar. The violence has not stopped since morning till evening and the naked dance of aggression is going on unabated.
As per the feedbacks received from the State, he said, heavy attacks have been mounted on about 100 houses and 150 shops have been looted and burnt down. The Jehadis have calculatingly been allowed a free run. Especially all these have happened in the presence of the Home Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Mr Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo which is why no action whatsoever was taken by the police there, instead the administration was seen to be on the same page as the extremists. No arrests have been taken place till this time. The administration is instead threatening the minority Hindus to keep mum and tolerate everything otherwise they would be compelled to vacate Kishtwar.
“It needs special mention that after the killing of the soldiers the audacity of the attackers has increased. Targeting the Baba Amarnath Yatra attacks were mounted on the BSF camp at Ramban. Likewise targeting Baba Budha Amarnath Yatra attacks have been mounted on Poonch. Every year lakhs of Hindu pilgrims undertake arduous treks for the Baba Amarnath Yatra,” he emphasised.
We have seen in Kashmir Valley that the same pattern of attacks was mounted on the Hindu minority whereby thousands of them were killed and the survivors were forced to leave their hearths and homes to migrate elsewhere. Whatever is taking place in Jammu & Kashmir is because of the impotent Central Government which has forever and everyday been surrendering to the dictates of terrorists. The Central Government must take immediate steps to protect the Hindus of Kashmir and the entire Jammu region should be handed over to the care of the defence forces.
Agree with Raza Murad that Religion does not change by wearing a ‘skull cap’
But who will tell him that religion also does not change by
p Singing ‘Vandemataram”
p Putting ‘tilak’ on Forehead
p Saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jay’
p And Putting ‘Nation’ ahead of religion…..