Friday’s (August 9) riots in Kishtwar were part of the new strategy known as “agitational terrorism” being adopted by the Hurriyat Conference and other anti-national forces to accomplish their unfinished nefarious agenda of “ethnic cleansing” of minorities from Muslim dominated areas of Jammu & Kashmir.
Friday’s riots- in which one Dalit youth was killed by the rioters and more than 200 shops and business establishments belonging to the minority Hindu community were especially targeted, looted and torched, were well planned and stage managed under the patronage of Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo, whose supporters executed the plan at ground level.
Even as the State Government was trying to project that Friday violence at Kishtwar was clashes between two communities, but those who were reporting from ground zero were giving different pictures as it was not clash but an attack on the minority community to force their migration.
The members of the majority community also entered the houses of minority community and torched shops selectively. The looting and arson continued right from Kuleed Chowk to Bus Stand, covering Main Market towards Shaheedi Chowk, Aman Market, Baniya Market and Purana Bazar. Surprisingly, no top police officer and the officials from the administration could be seen anywhere despite the presence of Minister of State for Home and MLA Kishtwar Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo in the town during the clashes. “Even when the police personnel fired in air to disperse the mob, given their inadequate strength they failed to control the situation,” a local news paper The Kashmir Times, which is known for its pro-separatist stand, reported while quoting eye-witnesses.
According to eye-witnesses trouble started when a group of youth, who were heading towards Eidgah Maidan, were resorted to shouting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans near Char Chinar Chowk. Within no time these youth, who were also carrying Pakistani flags with them, resorted to attacking members of minority community. “As everything was already planned, a number of groups spread in the Kishtwar town and resorted to attacking Hindus, their business establishments and houses,” eye witnesses said and added that some of the youth were carrying fire arms with them and they started firing on members of the minority community. Stunned by the attack of majority community, members of Hindu minority community rushed towards safer places because forces deployed in the town were watching entire scene as mute spectators.
Fear psychosis prevailed among the minorities, which could be well gauged from the fact that the injured civilians of the community were not admitted in the District Hospital, which was located in the area dominated by majority community and were instead taken to Army camps. Four of them were sent to Military Hospital, Udhampur in critical condition.
Facts of Kishtwar Riots
What kind of Peace Prayer is this?
1. Immediately after the Eid Namaz on Friday, 9th August, a mob of 20000 miscreants attacked Hindu localities and shops;
2. There were posters flashing on the roads instigating the people on religious and anti-India lines, still the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir came into action only after hours of violence;
3. Kishtwar was burning throughout the day in presence of J&K Minister of State for Home Affairs Sajjad Ahmad Kuchloo; the unlicensed .12 bore guns used in the riots by some arsonists from one community were looted by unruly crowds from the shop of a Hindu inside the Shahan Complex, a commercial property registered in the name of Kichloo’s son. Forty guns with 1500 rounds of ammunition were allegedly looted from the shop.
4. Along with the son of BSP leader Deshraj’s son Aravind 3 people died and 60 injured; property worth lakhs of rupees destroyed;
5. Curfew was imposed after seven hours of declaration.