Leaders of Kashmir Freedom Camp who were detained by Indian police yesterday have gone on hungers strike in the jails over the ‘bias’ approach of police in picking up the Muslim youth. Kashmir’s daily, Rising Kashmir reported “Abdul Qayoom Mattoo along with some other detainees are on hunger strike. They have blamed police for picking up only Muslim youth. They have alleged that the Hindu youth, who have incited trouble in the district are roaming free”. Apparently, two Muslims and one Hindu was killed in anti-Muslim riots when Indian Hindu fanatics of BJP, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and VHP attacked a Eid prayer gathering in Kishtwar town. the dead includes one differently-abled Bashir Ahmad who was burned alive by Hindu fanatics.
Indian official sources said local administration had arranged two separate meetings with both community leaders yesterday. “However only the leaders from Muslim community accepted the invitation and attended the meeting to discuss the ongoing trouble in the area”.
They said the right wing BJP leaders and civil society group representing the Hindu population refused to attend any meeting with district administration. “With Hindu groups and leaders refusing to cooperate with government in helping restore normalcy, authorities were forced to continue with curfew for sixth consecutive day”.
“Since the right wing Hindu groups are refusing to obey directions of authorities, there is no chance of lifting of curfew from trouble torn Kishtwar. The situation is continuously tense and unless there is agreement between the leaders of two communities, we will continue with the precautionary measures,” a senior police official told Kashmir’s daily Rising Kashmir.
He said the Hindu groups and leaders were twice asked to cooperate with the local administration like Muslims so that the situation could be defused.
The locals in Kishtwar alleged that government has succumbed to divisive forces and is punishing the entire population.
They said they are facing shortage of food and other essential items. “In case situation prevails and curfew remains in force, there will be an acute humanitarian crisis in the entire district”.
“Besides, patients are suffering in absence of medical care and medicines,” they said.
Meanwhile, Indian Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram who is acting on behalf of hospitalized Home Minister informed Cabinet that Bajrang Dal, an affiliate of Sangh Parivar, was involved in stoking communal violence in Kishtwar in Indian occupied Jammu Kashmir.