March 2002 News

Jabbar renews burqa diktat, sets April 1 deadline

15 March 2002
The Hindustan Times
Rashid Ahmad

Srinagar: A little-known terrorist outfit in Jammu and Kashmir has renewed its threat of acid attacks on Muslim women who do not wear the burqa. The group, Lashkar-e-Jabbar (LeJ), had earlier surfaced in August 2001, throwing acid on a group of women in the city. It had set a ''deadline'' of September 1 for all women to adhere to the ''Islamic dress code''. ''Restrict your activities, do not mingle with strangers and wear the burqa,'' LeJ chief Irfan Jameel said in a statement to women on Friday. Should he be defied, ''we will be compelled to throw acid on our sisters,'' Jameel said. The deadline for compliance this time is April 1. ''For various reasons, we had had to stop our activities for some time,'' Jameel said. ''But this boosted obscene and outrageous practices in the valley.'' Now, LeJ cadres would take on the ''forces of evil the time has come to strike and eliminate all those who are out to destroy the social and moral fabric of our society''. Jameel asked cable TV operators to stop airing ''obscene and immoral'' films, and told parents to ''keep a vigil on their children''. ''If we find any girl mixing with alien boys, they will be severely punished.'' The LeJ chief slammed the government for the Gujarat riots and BJP MP Vinay Katiyar for his reported remark that the Hazratbal shrine contained the hair of the Hindu saint. The LeJ''s Talibanistic diktats last year had included ordering Hindu women to wear bindis and Sikh women to wear saffron dupattas so that they could be distinguished from Muslim women. Though they had faded out as suddenly as they had appeared, the LeJ had spread panic and earned publicity for itself. Jabbar jabs For women: Restrict your activities, do not mingle with strangers or else we will be compelled to use acid For cable operators: Stop airing obscene and immoral films For parents: keep a close vigil on your children. Any girl found mingling with boys will be severely punished


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