Fear grips Kashmiris in Jammu

Fear grips Kashmiris in Jammu

Administration says taking measures to instil confidence

After three days of curfew and repeated assurances of safety to Kashmiris by the administration in Jammu city, the community is still feeling intimidated in its own state. The victims said that arsonists were being backed by a particular political party.

On Monday the administration relaxed the curfew after three days. Large scale violence was witnessed in the city on Friday in which Kashmiris were attacked and their vehicles set ablaze. The worst hit areas where violence broke out including Janipur, Chenore, Bantalaab, Gujjar Nagar, Ghandi Nagar, Trikota Nagar, Channi Himmat, Malik Market near Wave Mall were given relaxation in curfew.

A resident of Sultanpur, a relatively peaceful area, told Greater Kashmir on condition of anonymity that he housed many Kashmiri families from Janipur and Topesherkhan, who were attacked by mobs.

“Though the administration had given relaxation in curfew today for three to four hours, but they should make the mobs understand that these things (attacks in Kashmir) have happened in the past as well and the common people have no role in this,” he said.

Scores of Kashmiris said they are being intimidated for no fault of theirs. “What does it mean when they raise slogans Kashmirio bago (Kashmiris run away). The irony is that they are being backed by a certain political party,” said a Kashmiri employee living at Janipur.

He added that though many “mischievous elements involved in attacks on Kashmiris were arrested, but they were let off after intervention of a local corporator. They had a hand in Janipur attacks.”

There are 16 Kashmiri families living at Jhulhalka Mohalla behind Mubarakmandi who were harassed on the first day when violence broke out in the city.

A Kashmiri, Shafiq Siddique, said though some families had left the place after a fire cracker was thrown at their quarters, they have come back and are maintaining caution.

“The people from neighborhood assured us safety. They have been kind. But you never know, mob can come from anywhere and maybe attack us,” said Siddique. 

There have been reports of Kashmiris residing at Residency Road, Janipur and Talab Tillo vacating the region. “It reflects on the situation,” said a resident of Sultanpur.

From many places in Jammu, Kashmiris started leaving in the morning and were being accompanied by police from their accommodation to Bathindi.

The fear is also among government employees working in civil secretariat. A group of employees said they would not resume their duties until proper arrangements of security are not made for them.

“Though vehicles were sent to us at our accommodations, we won’t resume our duties. At twin places including Janipur and Subhashnagar, our quarters were attacked. Cars were broken and some of us were also injured. We have got families, daughters with us. Their (rioters’) body language suggests that they can go to any extent. Who guarantees our security?” said a group of employees from civil secretariat.

Pointing towards yesterday’s incident of a petrol bomb being hurled at Topesherkhan between block A and B, the secretariat employees said rioters were moving on two wheelers and constantly harassing them.

“Authorities are giving us only assurances. On ground it is mobs backed by a political party who are having a say,” they said.

Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma told Greater Kashmir that situation has returned to normal.

“There is no question of insecurity. They (Kashmiris) are very much secure. We have also provided food to the children from Kashmir,” said Verma.