Zanskar Attack: Jama'at Blames Govt

10 May 2014
Kashmir Despatch

Srinagar: Jama'at-e-Islami, one of the largest socio-religious groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Saturday expressed serious concern over the 'concerted attacks by Buddhists against the Muslim minority members of Zanskar in Ladakh region.' Jammu and Kashmir police arrested at least three Buddhists after a frenzy mob attacked a group of Muslims injuring a youth critically in land-locked Zanskar division of Kargil district. The Jama'at held government responsible for not providing Muslims security despite recurrence of such incidents. 'Last year, Muslims of the region were similarly assaulted with the result many of them were grievously wounded. The Muslims of the area, as a minority feel insecure and are living in uncertain conditions,' the group said. The relations between majority Buddhists and Muslims in Zansakar witnessed deep strain after 22 members of four families of Buddhists embraced Islam in 2012. On the directions of Zanskar Buddhist Association spearheading the Buddhist movement in the region, Buddhists are on complete boycott with the Muslim population residing in main town of Padum. 'The state government is deliberately delaying to provide the Muslims of the area with the security and is reluctant to take stringent action against the culprits,' it said further. 'It is surprising that despite being in majority the areas where Muslims live in minority, they face persecution and harassment. The recurrence of these incidents indicates that all this is being done under a well-nit conspiracy to force Muslims out of these areas where they are in minority,' the Jama'at said. Tension had gripped in Zanskar especially in Padum where large number of Muslims took to streets, after the news about the attack spread in the town. Police swung into action and sealed all the roads to thwart the clashes between the two communities. While expressing solidarity with the Zanskar Muslims, the group demanded that Muslims of the area be provided with complete security. 'We also demands that culprits of these atrocities be stringently punished and the kingpins who instigate such violent acts against Muslims be nabbed and brought to book,' the group said.