Intimidation Threats To Kashmiri Sikhs Yet To Be Investigated12 October 2010
Srinagar: The spontaneous response by all state and non state actors to the intimidation threats to Sikhs in Kashmir in August, of course led to recurrence of normal life of the minority community in the valley. But given the vulnerability of the Kashmir situation and the people who have developed vested interests in it , there was no guarantee that such incidents will nor resurrect in future. “We appreciate the concerns shown by the majority community and the leadership in Kashmir, but we certainly want to know as who is hell bent create the wedge between the two communities who have lived together for centuries on the principals of coexistence and communal harmony” says Jagmohan Singh Raina, coordinator of All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (ASCC). ‘We were more concerned about the harmony between the two communities as the episode was fraught with dangerous consequences, now the situation is limping towards normalcy, we would certainly like to know whether the government has started investigations into the matter. It was very important for both of our communities to identify those unscrupulous elements who wants to destroys the social mosaic of the Kashmiri society and what for. Rana says that the Special Secretary Home , government of India had assured of speedy investigation into the matter but nobody has consulted us since then'. Rana says that they met Sayed Ali Geelani and Umer Farooq even after the episode of intimidation but could not make it to the government circles. Some twenty to twenty five Sikh families have migrated to Srinagar after the intimidation threats meaning that the threat perception was there, said Raina. On the other hand police seems clueless and has not been able to produce any credible information as who was behind the act. General Secretary Akali Dal Kashmir Satinder Singh says that though the Sikhs thwarted the designs of the perpetuators to create wedge between the two communities, the episode needs to be investigated to expose the elements behind this gruesome act. “ the government and the civil society in Kashmir have to understand the various dimensions of this gruesome episode. Whatever the ulterior motives of the perpetuators, the fact remains that it was an attack on Kashmiryat, Satinder said. We have formed Sikh-Muslim coordination committees in at least 123 villages in Kashmir where there is mixed population of Muslims and Sikhs. The committees have done a commendable job in restoring faith and trust in each other. Sikhs in the Kashmir Valley received intimidation threats on August 19, when three motorcycle born youth handed over a letter to the wife of the priest at Aloochibagh Gurdawara in close vicinity of the civil lines in Srinagar. The letter asking the Sikhs to participate in the anti-India protests or leave the valley was produced before the media by ASCC coordinator Jagmohan Singh Raina on August 20. Two days latter similar kind of letters were pasted on the entry gate of Gurdawara Baghat in uptown on Airport Road. The atmosphere was very fragile and immediate interaction between the representatives of minority community and the leaders started with Sayed Ali Geelani , hardline separatist leader, denouncing such communal moves. Geelani accused the government agencies of harassing the minority community with the sole intention of giving communal colour to the situation that prevailed at that point of time. Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq (Moderate separatist leader) described the Sikhs as the inseparable art of the Kashmiri society and wowed to protect the Sikhs.