Protest In Jammu Against BJP’s ‘genocide’ Remarks13 December 2010
Jammu: Hundreds of people in Jammu on Monday took to streets and staged anti-BJP protest at Talab Khatikan to express their resentment against the ‘genocide’ remarks made by former state president of the party and MLA Ashok Khajuria. The BJP leader had reportedly said the India would not grant ‘Azadi’ (Independence) to Kashmir even if four more generations of Kashmiri Muslims were sacrificed for the demand. He had also said, “Kashmir can’t be separated from the country even at the cost of one billion Indians.” Over a hundred youth assembled outside the Jama Masjid in Talab Khatikan area and chanted anti-BJP and anti-Khajuria slogans to express their anger against his anti-Kashmiri remarks. The protestors also burnt tyres and disrupted the vehicular movement for half an hour in Talab Khatikan. Khajuria had also reportedly demanded the removal of State Flag from the Civil Secretariat, the highest seat of the government that houses the office of Chief Minister, his cabinet and top bureaucracy. Eyewitnesses said the protestors also shouted pro-Islam slogans and cautioned the saffron party to refrain from making such statements. A senior Muslim leader, Muhammad Sartaj condemning the BJP leader’s remarks said that the contents reflect the mindset and agenda of saffron party. Sartaj demanded stern action against the BJP leader for making ‘genocide’ remarks and said the urges and aspirations of the people need to taken into consideration prior to any resolution to J&K imbroglio. “No imposed solution would be acceptable to the people and their aspirations must be given due respect,” he maintained. The Muslim leader said the people of the state should be allowed to decide their fate. He also lashed out at the BJP for demanding abolition of Article 370, saying that the special status given to the state acts as a bridge between Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi. “Once this bridge collapses the relations between Kashmir and New Delhi would cease to exist,” he said. Talking to the Greater Kashmir, Khajuria, however, asserted that he had said nothing objectionable and controversial. “All those who talk of Azadi or separatism or raise pro-Pak slogans would not be tolerated at any cost. The protest was organised by the agents of Hurriyat Conference and Pakistan who had been there for creating a regional divide,” Khajuria said. Khajuria claimed that the local Muslims did not support the Hurriyat Conference activists and congratulated them for displaying the “high-standard of secularism”. “We will not tolerate any anti-national slogans as the liberal democracy should not be misused by any one and it is to be respected at all cost. Liberty of speech does not allow talking about disintegration of the country,” said Khajuria.