‘Shuja-Ul-Haq’ Srinagar, Sept16: Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir woke up to a bad start on August 9 with communal clashes erupting just as Eid was being celebrated in the town.
Different versions were given out on what triggered the violence.
But Headlines Today has managed to trace the root of the problem and it seems trouble didn’t just suddenly begin on August 9. Evidence suggests the seeds of the clashes were sown long back. During Ramazan, attempts were made to incite fear among the communities. Attacks were reported from various places.
This is what a first information report (FIR) registered at Chatroo Police Station read: “One person namely Abdul Hussain R/O Sumanwas Maliknar was sitting in his brother’s house on August 8 at about 11 pm when one unknown person who was wearing ‘Chitra’ dress attacked and injured him in his head”.
In a report by the police station in Kishtwar that Headlines Today managed to access said rumours were being spread in villages that miscreants were pelting stones and providing suspicious drugs to children.
“These reports are also received in police station from village Gurian, Hullar and Bandrana area,” said the report recorded as DD No. 23 on August 7.
Official sources said that on August 9, villagers from Bandirna, Hullar and Kuleed were going for Eid prayers at Chowgan Grounds around 10 a.m.
These were the peripheral villages where rumours of attacks were reported during Ramazan.
A group of these villagers entered into an argument with some youth from another community including the personal security officer (PSO) of a BJP leader.
This led to stone-pelting and clashes at a ‘chowk’.
“We were walking when the PSO tried to ride his motorbike into the crowd from the opposite direction and then all I remember is stone-pelting and we ran away,” said a young man, who claimed he was at the spot at that time.
The clashes quickly spread with people from both the communities joining in.
“It started from the chowk and soon the violence spread across the town,” said Kuldeep, a shopkeeper.
A petrol tanker, a police bunker and many buses and cars were among the 60 vehicles destroyed in the violence. Around 70 shops were also destroyed in arson with police and administration failing to control the situation.
So did politics play a role in the violence?
“I can’t say about the time before the clashes but people definitely tried to vitiate and cash upon the situation afterwards,” said PDP leader Syed Asgar Ali.
“There is a BJP man here who has tasted blood. He was voted to power after clashes over Amarnath Yatra and he is trying to do this again,” Ali said.
But BJP leader Sunil Sharma said communal clashes were not new. “We’ve seen what happened in 1947, then from 1990 to 2000 and there after, anti-India people are doing everything.”
Asked why his supporters shouted slogans using words such as “gaddars” (traitors)”, Sharma said: “Only ‘gaddars’ should feel bad about that”.
In this scenario, the ruling National Conference is instead blaming the BJP and the PDP for communalising the town.
Courtesy: Indian Today