Setback to integration process: Sajad on harassment of Kashmiris

Setback to integration process: Sajad on harassment of Kashmiris

“The recent incidents have yet again revitalised the old sense of anxiety and given rise to widespread apprehensions, which is extremely sad,” he said.

Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone Thursday expressed serious concern over “targeting” and “harassment” of Kashmiris across India, remarking that the recent incidents are a “setback to the process of integration and reconciliation”.

“The targeted harassment and attacks on Kashmiris at various places across the country has set back (sic) the process of reconciliation by decades. 

The perennial sense of anxiety that Kashmiris are not safe in other parts of the country had been overcome and erased to a great extent in the previous decade as students, professionals and businessmen from Kashmir pursued their studies and their businesses in various states with a sense of safety and security,” Lone said in a statement.

“The recent incidents have yet again revitalised the old sense of anxiety and given rise to widespread apprehensions, which is extremely sad,” he said.

Sajad said that Kashmiris have “borne the brunt of turmoil and been at the receiving end of the violence for the past three decades and these attacks will further disenchant them”.

“By attacking and harassing people from Kashmir, fringe elements are only pushing the average Kashmiri young man farther away from the idea of India and from the mainstream. Given the innumerable and invaluable sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris due to prolonged conflict and turmoil, this is tragic and heartbreaking,” he said, according to the statement.

Seeking “stringent” action against the perpetrators of attacks on Kashmiris, he said the state governments should take all possible measures to ensure safety and security of Kashmiris.

“I appeal to the central government and all state governments to ensure that those behind such reprehensible intimidation and targeted harassment are apprehended and brought to book immediately. There should be zero tolerance for such acts. I also appeal to the central government and the state governments to take all possible measures to ensure the sense of safety among Kashmiris living in various states is restored as soon as possible. Any complacency in ensuring this would have disastrous consequences on the psyche of young Kashmiris,” he said.