‘JRL condemns rally supporting rapist, murderer’
SRINAGAR: The Hindu Ekta Manch (HEM) has called on people to boycott the Gujjars community of nomad Muslims and has sought that the purchase of milk products and live stock from them should be stopped.
This comes after the arrest of a special police officer (SPO) in rape and murder of Gujjar girl Asifa. The meeting over the issue was held by HEM which was attended among others by the Vice Chairman of OBC Welfare Board, Rashpal Verma, and MLA Hiranagar Kuldeep Verma. The district president of Kathua Congress Committee and ex-MLC Subash Gupta was also part of the Hindu Ekta Manch meeting.
The HEM leaders decided to socially boycott the nomads in Hiranagar. “No one will sell any land to nomads (Muslims). Whosoever will be found even giving them fodder will have to face social boycott,” said one of the speakers at the meeting on Frdiay at Parshu Ram Temple.
They appealed the people that “they should not buy milk or live stocks from the nomads.” “They want to change demography of the area and we will not allow them. We should unite to stall their business activities too,” added speakers added.
The speakers “tried to convince people” during the HEM meeting that an attempt is being made to change demography of Samba and Kathua while calling them to wake-up towards the habitations of nomads in twin districts.
However, Hindu Ekta Manch, leader Vijay Kumar Sharma denied that they have boycotted nomads or “stopped their water.”
OBC Vice chairman, Rashpal Verma, told Rising Kashmir that he attended the meeting of Hindu Manch. “I only suggested people to meet Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti,” he however said.
Admitting that he attended the meeting, ex-MLC and senior Congress leader Subash Gupta told Rising Kashmir that “HEM leaders approached me with a request to attend the meeting. They have also involved youth. Though, we are of the opinion that the accused in rape and murder case of Asifa Bano should be put behind the bars but innocent people also not be harassed for the sake of investigation,” said Subash Gupta.
Gupta said that he has asked the BJP leaders “who were in the meeting that they should raise the issue with the government and don’t make public hue and cry.” “We are living peacefully with other communities and should remain in peace. We should not support any attempt to disrupt peace.”
“Nomads have been facing threat to their lives in Hiranagar especially Rasana and Kootah. They have threatened the nomads to leave these places,” said youth Gujjar leader, who is taking up fight for justice of Asifa Bano, Talib Hussain.
Hussain said the residents of Rasana have been denied water from the community water tank in the village. “Vijay Sharma, leader of Hindu Ekta Manch and Sarpanch Kootah are provoking people and threatened the nomads to leave the places. In yesterday’s meeting, they have decided not to allow any stay of nomads in Kathua and Samba districts,” said Hussain. He said that they have threatened the nomads of consequences like Gujarat in Hiranagar if they “continue to live there and did not vacate their inhabitations.”
Earlier the nomads were not allowed by a baton wielding saffron group to bury Asifa at a grave yard. The Hindu Ekta Manch has threatened agitation in the district against the arrest of the rape accused persons and SPOs Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Verma.
These two SPOs were arrested by the team of Crime Branch and they are also the process of taking more in custody for their questioning.
Meanwhile, resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik in a joint statement said the rally is actually a glaring proof of the fascist mindset of the ruling class in India and Jammu and Kashmir. The leaders emphasized that organizing and allowing rallies in support of rapists and killers with full police protection had testified that the so-called rulers were hand in glove with the criminals. The leaders warned that anyone aiming at repeating the1947 saga should remember that Kashmiri Muslims would spill their blood to save their Jammu brethren at every cost.
Release photojournalist Kamran Yousuf: CPJ tells India
On the other hand, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Indian authorities, including the National Investigative Agency (NIA), to drop charges against Kashmir photojournalist Kamran Yusuf immediately and to free him.
“India’s National Investigative Agency is way out of its league and has no business defining what ‘a real journalist’ should cover,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Kamran Yousuf’s work taking photographs of conflict in Jammu and Kashmir is a public service in the best spirit of journalism. He should be freed immediately,” he added.
Yusuf, a freelance journalist based in Kashmir, was arrested on September 7 last year following an FIR levelling charges of terror funding against him.
In observations filed by the NIA in court, the agency had said that Yusuf was “not a real journalist” as he not covered any inauguration, statement of political party or developmental activities of the government, which, according to the NIA is the “moral duty “of a journalist.
The accusations against Yusuf include charges of “stone pelting incidents at various locations in the Kashmir Valley”. The NIA had also said that he was in “regular touch with anti-national elements”.
In January this year, the global journalists body had said, “Indian authorities must stop abusing their power and using heavy-handed tactics to go after a photojournalist who was merely doing his job”.