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Valley traders blame Jammu counterparts of ‘fuelling’ violence


Srinagar, Feb 19: Blaming Jammu Chamber of Industries and Commerce (JCCI) of playing “divisive” politics, Kashmir Inc on Tuesday hit out at Jammu traders’ community for fueling violence in the region, which resulted in attacks and harassment of Kashmiris.

Multiple trade associations of Kashmir spoke to media on the issue of frequent attacks by mob groups on Kashmiris and have threatened to snap trade ties with the “perpetrators”.


Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) said the violence in Jammu region started after Jammu Chamber called for Bandh on February 15.

“Lives and properties of our people were put to grave risk. The mobs attacked shops and vehicles of Kashmiris, which were set on fire. Our people who were injured had to run from one place to another for their safety,” said senior vice president KCCI, Nasir Hamid Khan.

He said the Jammu Chamber violated the agreement to support issues of common interest related to the trade bodies.“Unfortunately Jammu Chamber failed to live up to expectations. There is no doubt that the cause of the violence was the result of Jammu Bandh given by the traders’ community. We urge them to adopt multidimensional thinking before taking any such decisions in future,” Khan said.

Claiming Kashmir situation was used for forthcoming election to gain political mileage, KCCI president said a smear campaign was going on social media against Kashmiris, which he said is aimed to affect the economy of the state.“Statements have appeared on social media that no tourist shall visit the valley for next three years. The forthcoming elections cannot be fought on the sweat and blood of our people. The attempts to gain political mileage out of tragedies are condemnable,” he said.

Khan said the business chamber will effectively play its role in the protection of the special status of the state, a plea against which is being heard in the Supreme Court.“Among various challenges for the business chamber are the writ petitions filed in the Supreme Court of India questioning constitutional status of our state. Such issues, KCCI recognises, are not issues between two parties but involve millions of people of our State. KCCI will do everything to protect and safeguard the constitutional status of this state and will not allow its dilution at any cost,” he said.

In a separate presser, Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation chief, Yaseen Khan said the bandh call given by JCCI on Friday became a “tipping point” for the mob violence to break out.

“Instead of playing politics, they (JCCI) could have been more responsible and shown restrain instead of playing a contentious role,” said Khan.

Condemning selective targeting of Kashmiris in various parts of India, Khan appealed the international community to interfere and stop harassment of Kashmiri students.

“Goons are being let loose in Jammu and other parts of India. Kashmiris in other students don’t feel secure. Role of Divisional Commissioner Jammu and IG Police is condemnable as they were missing from the ground during the first four hours of rioting, which gave a free hand to mobs to attack Kashmiris,” said Khan.

He said the employees should not join their offices and demanded adequate for Kashmiri transporters in Jammu.“We don’t want to take any extreme step, for which our student community outside will have to bear the brunt. But our patience must not be tested,” Khan said.

He said that Kashmiri was a political issue and requires an immediate solution to prevent further bloodshed in future.
“We know that elections are near in India for which the politicians got an issue to gain votes from public. We won’t allow them to instigate one community against other in the state, which is already battling with bloodshed since last 70 years,” Khan said.

Federation Chamber of Industries of Kashmir (FCIK), Muhammad Ashraf Mir said it was a moral responsibility for Jammu traders to take care of Kashmiri students.

“Centre appoints students for jobs in various states and later threatens them to leave. In Jammu incident, our counterparts could have played an important role for securing our students. Instead, they vitiated the atmosphere,” he said.


Curfew relaxed in Jammu parts

Jammu, Feb 19: Authorities Tuesday relaxed curfew for two hours in the jurisdiction of three police station areas of Jammu, while it continued to remain in force in rest of the city, which had witnessed violent protests in the wake of the Pulwama attack, officials said.
District Magistrate, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar ordered relaxation of curfew in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of police station Nawabad, Jammu city and Peer Mitha from 11.30 am to 01.30 pm.
However, he said restrictions under section 144 CrPC would remain imposed to maintain law and order.
Curfew was imposed in entire Jammu city on Friday following massive anti-Pakistan protests and incidents of violence against Kashmiris over the attack in Pulwama district of south Kashmir which left 49 CRPF personnel dead last Thursday.
Inspector General of Police, Jammu, M K Sinha said the decision to relax curfew in other parts of the city would be taken looking at the conditions during the two-hour relaxation.
On Monday, authorities relaxed curfew for three hours in five police station areas of south Jammu and the relaxation period passed off peacefully.
Curfew was relaxed in areas falling under police stations of Gandhi Nagar (except police post Nehru Park and Digiana), Channi Himmat, Sainik Colony, Trikuta Nagar and Satwari (except police posts of Belicharana and Gadighat) from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm Monday.
Officials said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere since Sunday. In another development, Jammu University announced postponement of all examinations scheduled for the day in view of the prevailing situation.
The governor discussed with advisors issues relating to effective maintenance of law and order and directed them that no anti-social element should be allowed to disturb peace and harmony in the State.

Harassment of Kashmiri students: SHRC issues notice to Comm Secy Home

Srinagar, Feb 19: J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Tuesday issued a notice to Commissioner Secretary Home over the attacks on Kashmiri student studying in several states of India.
“Chief Secretary DGP police JK Divisional commissioner Kashmir to submit the detailed compliance report before the Commission regarding the safety of students and people of Kashmir outside the state,” the notice read.
The notice was issued by SHRC chairperson Rtd Justice Bilal Nazki.
The petitioner has pleaded that Kashmiri students namely Faisal Ahmad Parray, Zahid Afzal Wani, Naeem Ahmad Hajam, Mohsin Rather of Bandipora were beaten by the goons.
The petitioner has pleaded that the direction be passed as to what steps has been taken for stopping such incidents in future and what actions have been taken by the respondents till date against such incidents and if any formal FIR has been lodged against the culprits who in day and day out are harassing the Kashmiri students in the name of nationalism.
“That all the parents whose kith and kin are studying outside the state of J&K are in the dilemma and shock and are now reconsidering their decision to send their wards outside the state for the educational purposes and training purposes,” petition reads.