SRINAGAR:  Fear has gripped Jammu Muslims after communal elements went into overdrive to polarize the winter capital following the recent High Court judgment striking down the Roshni Act.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Binda has ordered a CBI probe after pointing out numerous discrepancies in the Act.

The division bench highlighted several issues about the land grabbing in both Kashmir and Jammu divisions.  Official figures revealed that 1602143 kanals of land were illegally occupied in Jammu, of which 571210 kanals were regularized under the Roshni scheme. Likewise, 444293 kanals were illegally occupied in Kashmir, of which 33392 kanals of land was regularized under Roshni.

However, certain elements are using the order as an alibi to fan tensions ahead of Darbar Move.

 “Don’t we have the right to live? When the population increases, the demand for housing too increases. It is not Muslim specific but all communities require housing. Why are people having problems with our colony in Bathindi? So many colonies have come up in different parts of Jammu. We never have had any problem,” said Shuja Zaffar, chairman Jammu Muslim Front (JMF).

According to the 2011 census, the total population of the Jammu Division is 5,350,811. Hindus constitute 65% of the population, Muslims 31% and Sikhs 4%.  Of the total Hindu population, Dalits constitute 19.44 percent. In the Jammu district, the total population is 15,29,958. Of whom 12,89,240 are Hindus and 1,07,489 are Muslims.

Likewise, the united Jammu and Kashmir’s population is 1,25, 41,302 of which male and female are 6,640,662 and 5,900,640 respectively. It includes Ladakh which was then part of the J&K. Approximately 68.31 % of people are Muslims, while 28.44 % are Hindus. Christians are 0.28 %; Jains are 0.02 %, Buddhists 0.90 % and Sikhs 1.87 %.

“Please see the ratio of Muslims in government service. Most of the Patwaris and Tehsildars were Hindus… There is no Land Jihad. First of all, non-Muslims do not know what Jihad means. We had our land and people constructed houses as our families and population increased. Kashmiri pandits too have constructed houses and purchased land. Nobody objected to them. Why Muslims are being singled out?” Shuja asked.

The court too did not mention any specific religion or group while striking down the Roshni Act.  “In the instant case, there are allegations of ministers, legislators, bureaucrats, high ranking government and police officials having encroached upon public lands and having caused orders passed under the Roshni Act in their favor,” the court said.

Muslims are now pinning hope on Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for their safety and security. “We hope LG Sahab will rein in these elements,” said a local from Jammu

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