Jammu Muslims vow to struggle for Statehood
31 August 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Taking a solemn pledge to take the ongoing struggle for the grant of separate Statehood to Jammu to its logical conclusion, the speakers after speaker took the successive State Governments to task for the discrimination with Jammu region at a one day convention of Muslim workers of Jammu State Morcha (JSM) here, today. 'Jammu Muslims are a disgruntled lot at present as they have been treated shabbily by the Government after the transfer of power to Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah by the Dogra rulers, said Mr G A Tak (retd), District and Session Judge in his presidential address. He said the Jammu Muslims were subjected to injustice and misrule started after Sheikh Abdullah took over from Dogra rulers in 1947. Strongly advocating for the separate Statehood demand for Jammu region, he said what is harm in it?. 'At least we will get rid of Darbar move on which crores of rupees are spent annually', he added. Lambasting the successive State Governments, he said they never treated Jammu Muslims at par with the other citizens of the State as no member from the community was allowed to become even a High Court Judge. Allaying the fears of the people that the Morcha has the domination of RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena or Bajrang Dal, he said there is no threat to Muslims of Jammu from these organizations. Blaming Pakistan for all trouble, he said it has become a problem for the people who have suffered a lot over these years. JSM vice chairman, Abdul Rauf Ganai while turning tables on the coalition Government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said its claims to end the discrimination with the Jammu region have proven totally hollow. He lashed out at Congress for joining the coalition Government and urged its leadership to take a cue from Maharashtra strongman Mr Vasant Sathey and quit the Party to support the JSM demand. Another Morcha leader Abdul Aziz Katoch was highly critical of the successive State Governments for what he termed their biased approach towards the Jammu region in general and Muslims in particular. He also made a strong dig at Congress and National Panthers Party (NPP) saying the duo have played with the cause of Jammuites after compromising on the Chief Ministerial post. The Lone JSM, MLA in Assembly Ashwani Kumar Sharma said that during the 50 years of misrule the Jammuites were subjected to atrocities by Kashmiri rulers. Ridiculing the Government, he said we were dubbed as communalists whenever we raised the demand for separate State and today the Government should see for itself whether Morcha is a communal or a secular organization. In his address the Morcha chairman Shri Kumar expressed his full confidence in the workers of the Morcha. He exhorted them to spread its message in the every nook and corner of the region and make them ready for any sacrifice to achieve the goal. Tilak Raj Sharma, vice chairman of the Morcha lambasted the Prime Minister for not coming upto the expectations of Jammuites who he said created a confusion with his Statements in Jammu only. He said the Muslim areas of Jammu like Poonch, Rajouri and Doda have been totally ignored by the Government and the people should now rise the occasion and join the JSM for seeking their rights. K K Khosa, spokesman and vice chairman of the Morcha in his address blamed the Prime Minister for ignoring the interests of Jammu people. He said Mr Vajpayee did not choose to announce any kind of special economic package for the region on the lines what has been already granted for Kashmir Valley. Earlier Miss Sadhaf Arfan, secretary, Dokhtran Hind in her speech assured full support to the Statehood movement launhed by the Morcha. She said there was no logic in denying Jammu its due right when it has more resources. Arfan though herself a State subject from Kashmir blamed the Valley rulers for opening wine shops in Jammu and taking the all benefits to Kashmir to flourish trade there. Among other speakers included Ramesh Sabhrarwal, general secretary JSM, Sneh Bali, vice chairman, Mrs Tasneen Jafari, Begum Nazir Samnani, Mohammed Ayub Ayan, Tanveer Ahmed, Pervez Ahmed, Ch. Gulzar Ahmed, Dr Nasirrudin Qazi, Som Raj Khajuria, Kashmira Singh, Digvijay Singh, Vivek Sharma and Ritu Talwar. Earlier the Morcha activists took out a procession in the City in support of their demand. Th. Kashmira Singh on the occasion was named as vice chairman of the Morcha while Tanveer Ahmed was nominated general secretary of JSM youth wing. Hafiz Abdul Gani and Imran Ahmed were nominated as secretaries of JSYM. These announcements were made by Mr Khosa who also announced the formation of Banihal Ramban Unit.