Zanskar students demand reshuffle in administration, protest in press colony

Saima Bhat

Srinagar

Despite curfew in Zanskar of Ladakh region the communal clashes are still going on. In fresh riots a lady, Bibi Amina has been injured. All of the communication modes have been stopped which compelled the students of Zanskar to protest in Srinagar on Thursday who study in Kashmir alleging that their parents and relatives are not safe back home.

Engineer Rasheed and Students of Zanskar, who study in Kashmir, while protesting in Press Colony

Curfew was imposed in the Zanskar following the communal clashes between the majority Buddhist and minority Muslim communities, from past one month, following the conversion of 26 Buddhists to Islam. The protesting students alleged that Buddhists by the help and support of Hill Development Council authorities attack the Muslim houses, Mosques and educational institutions which has resulted in total chaos and lawlessness in the area.

The students holding placards reads, “we will not allow Ladakh to become Gujarat” the students were shouting slogans against the Kargil administration and Hill development council. Students were demanding that state government should look into the atrocities done on the minority Muslims in Zanskar and communication should be restored as soon as possible.

Engineer Rasheed, MLA Langate, was also accompanying the students. He said, “We won’t allow communal violence in Zanskar. We, all Muslims are with the people of Zanskar and if government is not going to solve the problems of the Ladakhi Muslims then we will go for state wide agitation”.

According to the locals those 26 converted to Islam belong to four families and are presently putting up with local Muslims. Protesting Students say since last 15 days there is a virtual social boycott against minority Muslim community as Buddhists have stopped trading with them.

Students stressed on government to reshuffle the administration of Zanskar. “Whole administration is of Buddhists who is adding to the fuel and that is why we want an immediate reshuffle of the administration” said a Student.

Another student added, “Buddhists are attacking our houses and our lives are not safe there. Buddhists don’t even spare our ladies”.

“If state government provides an aid of Rs 5 lakh to the Yatris who die of natural death during yatra why government can’t think of doing anything for the injured people of Zanskar who are lying in Srinagar hospitals,” MLA langate said.

While confronting Rasheed said “Muslims are not communal and if need arises we will go to Burma also to support our Muslim brothers”. He also said that he may travel to Zanskar after Eid with all possible legal aid.

Rasheed questioned, “Where is Ringzin Jora this time? Why isn’t he speaking for people of his community?

“If same atrocities would have happened with the minority Pandits in Kashmir the whole administration and union home ministry would have come to speak on the issue and would have asked for the inquiry but this time Muslims are being targeted that is why they are not bothered. They fear , Muslims may form a new Pakistan in India, ” said Eng Rasheed.

Rasheed said the present protest is a token protest and a memorandum will be presented before the Divisional Commissioner to forward to CM.

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