Jammu attacks leave Kashmiris worried for their kin living outside

Jammu attacks leave Kashmiris worried for their kin living outside

From yesterday night, messages are being circulated on social media platforms asking Kashmiris living outside to exercise caution. Fellow Kashmiris are being asked to avoid discussion on Kashmir, stay in groups and avoid going to markets alone.

A day after the  Lethpora militant attack left over 40 CRPF men dead, and triggered clashes and attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu on Friday, tens of hundreds of Kashmiri families apprehend that the fringe elements might exploit the situation to target their kin living outside.

From yesterday night, messages are being circulated on social media platforms asking Kashmiris living outside to exercise caution. Fellow Kashmiris are being asked to avoid discussion on Kashmir, stay in groups and avoid going to markets alone.

 “My son is in Jammu for coaching. This is for the first time he is living outside. There is tension over there. As a parent, I appeal government to ensure safety of my child,” said a police officer from Anantnag, requesting anonymity.

A journalist from Kulgam district said he asked his two nieces, who are studying in New Delhi, to leave their apartment only when it is essential. 

National Conference accused Governor’s administration of not taking any steps to ensure safety of Kashmiris living outside.

“I wish the Governor would have taken a lesson from past experiences and called his counterparts in other states to ensure safety of Kashmiris. Political parties should shed differences and call for ensuring safety of Kashmiris,” said NC spokesperson Tanveer Ali Sadiq.

Sadiq said Kashmiris living outside the state are “soft targets”. 

“Fringe elements wait for opportunities like this,” he added.

A Kashmiri living in Jammu’s Janipur said many Kashmiris living in the area have been petrified after mobs pelted their houses with stones.

“There is curfew but the mobs still march on the streets. There are many girls living in the vicinity over here. We are worried about them,” he said. 

A mob had also tried to attack Kashmiris, mostly government employees residing at Ustad Mohalla near Kachi Chawini, he said.

“Many people riding bikes tried to ram into our quarters, but they didn’t succeeded in their plan. We are living with our families including children here. Only a wire fence has been put around the building and some guards with batons have been placed for our protection,” said an employee.

He added that worried employees have decided to stay awake during the night to keep a vigil. 

“In these times, we don’t know whom to bank on. Nobody from the administration has reached us,” he said.

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah also said measures should have been earlier made for the safety of Kashmiris.

“It should never have been allowed to reach this point. Pre-emptive measures should have been taken this morning knowing that it is Friday & congregations would assemble for prayers. I hope the situation is now defused without further loss. Have been in touch with J&K police officials regarding the situation in #Jammu. I’ve been assured that two columns of army have been requisitioned & moved to the most vulnerable areas to take control of the situation,” Omar wrote on micro blogging site Twitter. 

Another former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti said “miscreants” are trying to take advantage of the situation aftermath of Lethpora attack.

“It will be a travesty & against the spirit of our secular ethno-cultural values to use this terror attack as an excuse to target minorities. Hour of the need is to show compassion & come together. Distressed to hear about miscreants in Jammu trying to take advantage of the situation by inciting tension. Guv adm should have preempted this by securing minority dominated areas. Have spoken to IG Jammu to deploy additional security,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter. 

Deputy inspector general of police Jammu Vivek Gupta told Greater Kashmir that police is trying to bring the situation under control in the region.

“I assure you it is moving in a positive direction,” said Gupta.