Police evacuate foreigners after protests in Shivpora

We are looking into the matter: Div Com Kashmir

Alleged conversions

SHABIR IBN YUSUF

Srinagar, Apr 10: Police Wednesday said they are looking into the complaints by the residents of Shivpora Srinagar about the alleged conversions in the area and have evacuated some foreigners from the place.
Soon after protests erupted in Purnibal Shivpora area, large contingents of Police arrived on the spot and evacuated two men, five women and two children—all foreigners. Police have also sealed the building where the foreigners stayed for the past four years on rental basis.
Talking to Greater Kashmir Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar Syed Aashiq Hussain Bukhari said: “We are looking into the allegations of the residents. We have evacuated foreigners from the house.”
He said the protesters were chased away.
Witnesses said protests erupted in the area after large number of people arrived at a house, where a British national James Thomas was putting up. The protesters alleged that Thomas was carrying out religious conversions.  The protesters damaged a vehicle and tried to set the house on fire. However, police stopped them.  The protestors alleged that Thomas and his associates have converted many people to Christianity and are running a school in the area.
The Imam of a local masjid said they requested the foreigners to stop the practice but they did not.
“Now we request them not to enter the area again,” the Imam told reporters, adding that “conversion would not be allowed at any cost.”
Witness said huge contingents of police chased the protesters and cordoned the house. They said all the nine persons were evacuated in bullet-proof vehicles and taken to Police Station Ram Munshi Bagh. The police also seized the building, which originally belongs to Advocate Bashir, who is presently living in Rajbagh area here. 
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Shalinder Kumar told Greater Kashmir that SSP Srinagar has been asked to look into the matter. “Preliminary investigations reveal that some NGO was running an orphanage in the area. Also, there were some foreigners,” he said and added that foreigners are in police custody. “Let SSP ascertain the facts,” Kumar said.
In the evening a police handout said that police received information regarding a skirmish in Shivpora locality in Srinagar where an NGO is running a small school. “A police party was sent to the spot and it brought the situation under control. Nobody has got injured. Police is looking into the matter,” it added.  

Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST




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