In Kashmir, Pro-freedom Agitators Chop Off Sikh Youth’s Hair29 July 2010
Srinagar: Pro-freedom protestors beat up a Sikh youth and chopped off his hair in Malangpora, south Kashmir, on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, angry Sikhs led a march from Tral and blocked the Srinagar-Jammu national highway near Awantipora, demanding the arrest of the culprits. According to police, Harmeet Singh aka Mithun Singh, an employee of Border Roards Organisation, was on his way to a market when he was stopped by pro-freedom protestors and asked to raise slogans. Though Singh did as told, protestors beat him up and chopped off his hair. Police registered a case and picked up two people for questioning. “Investigations have been put on fast track. The victim has also given his statement about the events. We hope to crack the case soon,” Shafaqat Watali, DIG, south Kashmir, said. Sikhs led a protest march from Tral and blocked the Srinagar-Jammu highway for some time . Protests also rocked Digiana area in Jammu. “We have assured the Sikh community that action will be taken against the guilty. We even promised them that if necessary Public Safety Act will be slapped against the culprits,” Watali said. The issue has snowballed into a major controversy with Guru Manyo Granth Society, a Sikh organisation, asking separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to come clean on this issue. “They [separatists] claim the freedom struggle is not restricted to Muslims but also belongs to Sikhs and Hindus. Then why have these so-called leaders not uttered a single word to condemn the attack on the Sikh community. Their silence arouses suspicion about their role in the attack,” Jasdeep Singh, president of the society said. Sikhs have urged chief minister Omar Abdullah to take action against the offenders or face repercussions. “The security of Sikhs will be ensured and people who try to disrupt communal harmony will be dealt with sternly,” the chief minister said.