Kishtwar clashes: Rashid narrates the ordeal

Riyaz ul Khaliq

SRINAGAR

Awami Itehad Party (AIP) President and Lawmaker, Er Rashid has lambasted on state and central governments for allegedly siding with the communal forces in Jammu division.

On arriving from Kishtwar, on Tuesday, Rashid revealed in a press conference that the Muslims in Jammu region are facing a tough time these days as state machinery is at the back of Village Defense Committees (VDCs) who have unleashed a trial of fear and have victimized Muslims.

Giving details as how the incident started in Kishtwar, Rashid said that in Kishtwar on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr Muslims were peacefully heading towards, Eidgah chanting simple religious slogans.

“In a small Hindu dominated Kullar village, body guard of a runner up in 2008 elections of a BJP candidate (Sunil Sharma) boarding a scooter sought a way for himself which the Muslims let. The body guard straight drove to his community and informed them wrongly that the Muslims had abused their religious sentiments which in turn resulted in what is happening there now,” Rashid said.

MLA Langate is the only unionist politician who has managed to give state a slip and reach Kishtwar.

The MLA revealed that the Muslim community in Kishtwar is terrified and alleged that the members of Hindu community resort to stone pelting in the night.

“The situation of Kishtwar has been communalized, commercialized and criminalized,” Rasihd said.

“Hindu Balwans set ablaze a disabled Muslim who was working in state’s PHE department,” he said and alleged that there after the Hindu fanatics uploaded a picture of the deceased in social networking sites and named him a Hindu citizen.

“During the clashes between the two communities when police intervened, one Hindu person was killed by the fire of a policeman,” Rashid alleged. He said that police and civil administration played a very “dirty” role in handling the situation.

Alleging that the administration supported the Hindu fanatics and VDCs, he said that some Muslim officers also played the role of “more loyal than the king”.

On the second day of Eid, Rashid said the locals informed him that VDCs and DDCs brought together Mulims of a small village in a Masque compound and fired upon them resulting in injuries to many.

Rashid said that VDCs yielded their guns also on armed police forces who reached later. The MLA alleged that the arms in custody of the VDC members are not registered and the state is not doing anything to get them to task.

The MLA informed that the VDCs did not allow helicopter to land to lift the injured and also fired on the attendants.

“Police also let loose their hands and let VDCs to continue the loot,” Rashid said. He, however, said that the locals were all praise for one Sub Inspector, Suroop Singh who, they felt, saved many lives.

AIP president said while taking a dig at chief minister Omar Abdullah alleged that he instead of saving the lives and property of the innocent people is playing to the tunes of Ghulam Nabi Azad and centre.

“Kichloo  has been made scapegoat and was forced to resign only to safeguard the vote bank of Congress in the belt,” Rashid said.

Accusing NC and Congress of ruling the state with iron fist and not allowing “a caged Syed Ali Geelani” to speak over the issue.

Responding to a question that how he managed to reach the area closed for persons of his ilk, he said that he is a commoner.

“I’m not like them,” Rashid said adding that he along with his two party workers drove to Kishtwar and nobody could identify him till he reached there.

But, he said that once the police and civil administration came to know that Rashid has come they arrested him at Mughal Park and harassed him. “I was put to bitter humiliation and lodged at four places before reaching Srinagar.”

“I am living a second life,” Er Rashid said, adding, “I was left at Simthon top in mid night.”

The MLA alleged that they treated him like a dreaded terrorist as he was put into custody of regular army for the whole night at Aachabal.

Asking Omar Abdullah to stop giving lectures on morality he asked “where his morality was when 110 civilians were killed in 2010 and Gool carnage took place.”

He revealed that the FIRs lodged against the Hindus who forced economic blockade of the Valley in 2008 have been vacated.

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