Affected stage protests in Srinagar

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Oct 25: As the anger against attacks on Muslims in Zanskar spilled over to Drass area of Kargil district, the residents of Zanskar on Thursday urged the government to provide security to the affected population before further slide in the situation.
 Dozens of students from Zanskar area staged protests in Press Colony here amid slogans against the government. “Provide us security, restore connectivity,” the protestors were shouting. The protestors were accompanied by an independent legislator, Engineer Abdur Rasheed.
 Giving details of the incident Muneer Ahmed, a resident of Padam, Zanskar, who is pursuing Masters at Islamic University, said that on September 23 at least 22 Buddhists from Padam, Zanaskar converted to Islam. “They converted of their own will as they got inspired by Islam. We gave them shelter in the form of rented rooms and security after they started living with the Muslim families,” he said.
 He said on October 24, when people were coming out of the Jamia Masjid, Padam, they were attacked by some miscreants in which more than 14 people got injured. “Then there were series of attacks on Muslims in the area,” he said.
 The protestors said situation in Zanskar was tense as the protests have erupted in Drass area as well. “In Drass, Joint Action Committee had called for Zanskar Chalo today (Thursday) to express solidarity with the Muslims of Zanskar,” said Ahmed.
 He said the government should provide entire Muslim population, which is not even 600, with security. “We remain cut off for at least six months due to snow fall that closes the main road link. If government fails to provide us security cover, we are sure that Zanskar will turn into a battle ground and Gujarat could be repeated there,” Ahmed said as other echoed the same demand.
 A government employee, wishing anonymity, said he was not able to contact his family in Zanskar as all means of connectivity have been snapped.
 A senior police officer said, there were no directions to lift the curfew in the area. “We can’t take the risk. We are monitoring the situation. As and when we feel curfew should be relaxed, we will lift the restrictions on hourly basis,” he said.
 Meanwhile, talking to reporters on the sidelines of the protest, MLA Langate Er Rashid said he will not allow Kashmir to become another Gujarat. “If the government fails to provide justice to the Muslims in Zanskar, entire valley will stand with them and the clashes would spill over across Kashmir,” Rasheed warned. “It is very unfortunate that the country that talks much about the secularism doesn’t protect the innocent Muslims in Zanskar.”

Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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