Controversial Lal Singh At It Again; ‘Reminds’ Jammu Muslims of 1947



Lal Singh
Choudhary Lal Singh

The controversial right wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) minister in Ms Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP coalition government abused and humiliated a delegation of Jammu residents on May 18.

The delegation went to meet Congress man turned right wing lawmaker, Lal Singh, to put forth their demand as why “government had barred them from selling firewood”.

“We reached Lal Singh’s official residence at Gandhi Nagar at 4 in the evening on May 18, we started explaining our problems and concerns,” Mumtaz Ahmad, Sarpanch Shawua in Ranjan area of Jammu’s Bhalwal.

“You don’t know it is our, BJP’s government,” Lal Singh told the delegation, Mumtaz said. “Lal Singh thought that our delegation constituted only of Muslims but the delegation included Hindus as well.”

Mumtaz said that the delegation was humiliated and “reminded” of 1947 mayhem. “Abusive, Lal Singh told us: O Gujron, 1947 pulligaya hai tuse ge (O Gujjars! Have you forgotten 1947? Why have you come here?”

When the sub-continent got divided into Pakistan and India, over five lakh Muslims were massacred in Jammu region of erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Communal armed forces killed and destroyed property of Muslims.

“We retorted at Minister’s remark,” Mumtaz said, “we told Lal Singh that we don’t know what had happened in 1947.” “Tell us what had happened then,” the delegation asked Lal Singh.

“After being humiliated,” Mumtaz told Kashmir Life over phone from Jammu, “We were told to leave the office premises.” “A Hindu member of our delegation too tried to pacify the Minister but we were forced out.”

Notably, the incumbent Forest Minister has been controversial since he took oath of office first as health minister in late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-BJP coalition. During his stint in in health department, he came under severe criticism for his “unruly behaviour”.

Mumtaz said they had approached the minister because they were not being allowed to cut wood or trees on the private land and they wanted to seek permission from him.

After being humiliated and “reminded” of 1947 mayhem, the delegation on Friday reported the matter to Gandhi Nagar Police Station with a written complaint. It sought registration of FIR against the Forest Minister.

The cops at Police Station Gandhi Nagar confirmed that they had received a complaint against Lal Singh. “We will investigate it,” SHO Gandhi Nagar PS told Kashmir Life, “so far, we have not filed any FIR.”

When contacted by a newspaper, Lal Singh denied making any such comment. “I never made any comment which would hurt the sentiments of any community. I always entertain people, who call on me”.

Singh claimed that the allegations were baseless and he would do anything to protect interest of the general public.

“I was speaking to my Gujjar brothers in Dogri about the increasing temperature. I don’t know what issue has come up and why do they want to make issue out of nothing,” he said.

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