Kishtwar Riots Planned By Separatists: Civil Society Report

Kishtwar Riots Planned By Separatists: Civil Society Report

29 September 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Jammu: While the members of the Jammu Civil Society have held separatist elements responsible for the Kishtwar riots, they have accused the district administration and police of “inaction”. In its interim report on the August 9 violence in Kishtwar, which was released here today, the society claimed that business establishments of minorities were targeted under a “planned conspiracy”. “Rioters were fully prepared with flammable liquid substance and sharp edged weapons,” the report mentioned. “On August 9, when the incident happened, a procession comprising around one thousand people from the villages of Sangrambata, Hullar, Puhi, Bandrna and Honzala assembled in the town and raised pro-freedom slogans. They were carrying rods, plastic cans and some sharp edged weapons with them. Pakistan flags were also seen on the spot and members of minority community were beaten, their shops and houses were looted and burnt within minutes,” it claimed. The report, which has been prepared by the society members who visited Kishtwar earlier this month, is based on the eye witness accounts and queries made from the local population, eminent citizens and riot victims. The local people told the team members that just two days before the incident, miscreants had pasted posters depicting separatist leader Shabir Shah, parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and late Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Maqbool Bhat at Kitchloo Mohalla with provocative slogans. “They told us that it was brought to the notice of the police, but no action was initiated. They added that provocative activities were going on in the area for the last many months,” said Dineshwar Singh Jamwal, a human rights activist and member of the society. Highlighting the inaction of the district authorities and the police, KCS Mehta, a member of the society, said: “It was only after the Army marched in the town that the order was restored…that too in the late afternoon. Till then rioters had a field day and they destroyed property worth crores of rupees.” The report mentions that there were clear indications of the mounting trouble, as on July 28 the Kalash Yatra procession was attacked at Sangrambata village. It added that on August 4 a rally was organised at Nali Banjwa village in which the speakers spitted venom against the minorities.