At a time when Justice (retd) R C Gandhi, who presided over the one-man Commission that probed Kishtwar’s 2013 Eid riots, praised VDCs (Village Defense Committee) in his riot report asserting “they are doing very good work”, MLA Langate Tuesday strongly condemned the VDC attack on nomads in Daksar area of Ramban district.
By terming VDC as Village Dehshatgard Committees, Er Rashid reiterated his demand that these “unconstitutional and unauthorised” committees be disbanded without further delay.
“It is strange that despite identification of criminals, the police haven’t yet arrested VDCs, which give ample proof that these committees are more powerful than police or any other legal authority.”
On one hand, he said, government leaves no opportunity undone to find an excuse to arrest Hurriyat Leaders like Masarat Aalam, “but at the other hand is giving a free hand to the VDC terrorist outfits of Hindu community to harass Muslims in Pirpanchal and Chenab Valley.”
There are more than 300 FIRs against these extra constitutional state sponsored terrorist outfits but not even a single arrest has been made, he said.
“If state and central governments really believe that these VDCs are beneficial for the people and have contributed in restoring normalcy, then why doesn’t govt give weapons to Muslim community in Kashmir on pattern of these VDCs?”
The biased attitude of central and state govt and other agencies towards Kashmiri Muslims proves that GoI treats state on communal lines and Muslims of the state as second class citizens, he said.
Er Rashid also criticised state govt for disempowering Muslim officers hailing from Jammu province only to please the communal forces, who want the cream from Muslim society to be discredited and disrespected at all costs.
“I have no regrets while saying all this but fact of the matter is that the Muslim community in Jammu and Kashmir is being ignored and deprived of their genuine rights in bureaucracy and administrative setups as well,” he said.
Notably, Justice Gandhi in his final report on Kishtwar riots maintains: “The propaganda against the VDCs was falsely manoeuvred and infact the VDCs should be more strengthened.”
But Er Rashid cautioned Mufti not to succumb before fascist and radical forces every time, “as he has already surrendered much.”