February 2001 News

Defeat Pak agenda by setting agenda of peace, says Gupta

5 February 2001
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU: Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah today said that certain measures are being contemplated for instilling confidence among the Sikh minority in Kashmir and appealed to all to prevent Sikh migration in the wake of Mehjoor Nagar killings which he described as part of deep-rooted Pak conspiracy of total ethnic cleansing in the Valley. Addressing all party meeting here this evening, the Chief Minister said that he has discussed certain measures with the central team that visited Mehjoor Nagar today. The committee is submitting its report to the Prime Minister in a day or so. "I alongwith Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, will meet the Prime Minister for taking final view on these measures", he added. Dr Abdullah said he has asked Minister of State for Home and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to visit each of Sikh inhabited 129 villages across the valley to reassess security arrangements and revamp these wherever necessary. He said it is surprising that despite presence of security near the locality, militants succeeded in executing their plan without being noticed by the forces. "I am examining the whole issue to find out whether there was any laxity and if so who is responsible", he said. The CM also regretted that some local newspapers have mischievously attributed killing of an auto-rickshaw driver to two Sikh SoG personnel. More intriguing was the fact that when the Sikh community reportedly sought to clarify that maligning Sikhs was not warranted and the community had nothing to do with the alleged killing, the concerned newspaper and electronic media ignored it. He said Sikh community feels that attack on them had been pre-planned. He appealed to media to exercise restraint in reporting incidents and ensure that no community is maligned and made target of unscrupulous elements. Several other prominent citizens shared the Chief Minister's concern. He said Pakistan's game plan is known to everyone. Despite Prime Minister's peace initiative and unilateral extension of cease-fire twice, there is no let up in militants" violence in the state. While borders are quiet, Pakistan has infiltrated over 300 mercenaries during this period to engineer trouble. He said he had conveyed his concern to the Prime Minister over stepped up violence in the wake of cease-fire, which had become meaningless for us. "Hardly a day passes without killing of my workers or their relations", he said, adding that anyone holding Indian flag is increasingly becoming militants" target. He expressed concern over tying down of hands of the forces due to cease-fire while militants were operating unabated. "Had there been no cease-fire, our combat operations would have found and eliminated them", he said and added "Let the world know the price we are paying for taking further the peace initiative on the face of Pakistan's continued brutalities." Expressing his profound grief over the killing of Sikh brethren at Mehjoor Nagar by militants and another in police firing in Narwal this morning, the Chief Minister said that he had asked to authorities to impose curfew as some miscreants would have entered into the ranks of peaceful protestors to ignite the situation to the liking of Pakistan. He said no amount of vigil by the leaders of Sikh community and other political parties could have controlled enemy's agents. Regretting that Sikhs had not got adequate representation in police and forest recruitments, he said that he will ensure due representation to all the communities. He indicated induction of a Sikh minister in the minitry, who could look after the interests of the community. He said he will take up with the Centre the issue regarding providing jobs to Sikhs residing in Kashmir ino central organisations in Srinagar and reservation in professional colleges outside the state. Urging people to control their emotions and maintain unity in the wake of such provocative acts, Dr Abdullah cautioned them against falling in the trap of enemy. Communal flare up in Jammu is the ultimate objective of Pakistan, which Jammuites have always foiled. He said burning of Kishtwar mosque and temple in Bhaderwah was also part of the same game-plan but the people have disappointed the enemy by maintaining their cool. He said the need of the hour is to assuage the outraged feelings of Sikh community in the valley and instilling confidence among them by demonstrating unity by all. Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta condemned the Mehjoor Nagar carnage by militants and excessive use of force by police in Narwal this morning. He said Jammuites have braved many provocations in the past and would keep it up in future also. Prof Gupta said Pakistan has been trying to inflict scars on the traditional brotherhood of the state for the past 12 years which the people have and will defeat by maintaining peace and unity. "We have to defeat Pak agenda by setting our own agenda for fighting the enemy with our full might", he said adding that the designs of Islamabad have to be frustrated at all costs. The Indian agenda is candid, that is Kashmir was and will remain part of the nation, he said adding that "No power on earth can ever annex even an inch of it". He said Pakistan understands it fully well but despite that continues violence against India. Those who spoke on the occasion included, Deputy Chairman, Legislative Council, S Harbans Singh, Vaid Vaishnu Dutt, MP, Mr. Gurdev Singh Ishar, President SAD, Mr. Sudershan Singh Wazir, President Gurdwara Prabhandak Board, Mr. Gulchain Singh Charak, (Congress), Mr. Ashok Khajuria and Choudhry Piara Singh, both BJP MLAs, S Mohan Singh, President Petroleum Dealers Association, Mr. T S Wazir, President, J&K Motor Transport Companies Association, Mr. Ram Sahai, President, CCI, Mrs Zubaida Salaraia and Mrs Bimla Luthra, both NC MLAs, Mr. B R Bali and Mr. Abudl Rehman Tukroo, MLCs, S Praduman Singh (Congress) and the Director General of Police, Mr. A K Suri and Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Mr. Anil Goswami.


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