Zanskar witnesses uneasy clam

‘Jittery’ Residents Demand Security

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Oct 29: Terming the prevailing peace in restive Zanskar area of Kargil district as fragile, the miniscule Muslim population Monday urged the government to ensure security for the members of the minority community for the six months of winter “following the constant threats they were receiving from different quarters.”
The Zanskar residents also demanded shifting of some “biased” government functionaries from the area. Talking to Greater Kashmir, President Muslim Association Zanskar, Fayaz Ahmed Wani said, though the authorities have lifted the curfew in the area but section 144 was still in place.
“In Padam area of Zanskar majority of residents are Muslims. Almost every family is getting threats from different quarters. The prevailing peace is very fragile,” Wani said. “We are living under constant threat and fear. We are not even able to come out of shock we received on October 23.”
He said at least 17 houses were damaged while property worth lakhs was destroyed in recent rioting. “The attackers took away cash, gold, and other costly items. We ran for the cover and left our homes unattended,” Wani said.
He demanded security to the less than 700 Muslims living in Padam area. “We remain cut off for rest of the world at least for six months. Many quarters are issuing threats to us that we will be killed during winter months and they will clean up Padam from Muslims,” alleged Wani. He sought government intervention and demanded security for the Muslims living in Padam.
The residents also expressed their dissatisfaction over the visit of MoS Home Nasir Aslam Wani and Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora to Zanskar. “They announced Rs 3 lakh for the damage of 17 houses. It is a cruel joke. It seems as if government is waiting for the death of Muslims then only it will announce big compensation,” said Wani. He said despite the fact that Muslims in Padam had identified the attackers of October 23 incidents, government failed to take any action against them.
“We have handed over a letter to MoS Home that has the names of all those who attacked the Muslim houses. The action against them should be taken within a week’s time. We also want change in administrative set up within 10 days,” he said.
“We request the government to transfer the Naib Tehsildar Zanskar and other officials. There has to be some impartial official at the top, otherwise, Padam residents will continue to face intimidation,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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