Kargilis Demand Adm Revamp In Riot-Hit Zanskar

Kargilis Demand Adm Revamp In Riot-Hit Zanskar

31 October 2012
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: Students from Kargil held protests in Srinagar again on Wednesday, demanding adequate protection for the small minority of Muslims in Zanskar targeted in communal violence. “The elements who attacked the Muslim community in Zanskar should be taken into custody forthwith, and the government should release compensation for the damage suffered by the victims,” Manzoor Ahmad, who was among the demonstrators at the press enclave, said. Shouting slogans against authorities, the protestors demanded the en masse transfer of the Zanskar administration. “The Muslim minority should be adequately protected because the Zanskar region remains cut off from the rest of the state for six winter months,” the protestors said, accusing the local administration of partiality and discrimination. In a memorandum to the minister of state for home, the protestors demanded additional police deployments in PP Teng, Phu Thang, Gobdah, Saa Nai and Krasha areas to “stop processions heading for Padam,” the worst affected area. Meanwhile, the Jama’at-e-Islami has expressed deep concern over the anti-Muslim violence in Zanskar and demanded that the administration there be cleaned up of communal elements. “The manner in which the Muslim minority in Zanskar was attacked by some communal elements with the covert support of the administration, and their houses burnt down, makes it clear that the government is not interested in the security of the community,” the Jama’at said in a statement today. “The rioters still threaten the minority community with death, but the administration has failed to take any solid action against culprits even to this day despite several having been identified,” it said. “The Muslims of Zanskar are beset with a severe sense of insecurity and several families have fled the area out of fear,” it said. Senior Hurriyat (M) leader Shahbir Shah appealed to the Muslims and the Buddhists of Zanskar “not to let anyone damage the region’s tradition of communal amity.” Deploring the “harassment and intimidation” of Zanskar’s Muslim minority, Shah said that communal forces appeared to be set on destroying the state’s “glorious history of communal brotherhood.” The Hurriyat (M) leader warned the state government to ensure the safety and security of the Muslims living in Zanskar. “I have personally visited the region in the past, and, with the cooperation of Muslims and Buddhists living there, played a role in defeating attempts to damage its communal amity,” he said.