Omar, Mirwaiz assure Sikhs of security

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. File Photo  

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and chairman of the Hurriyat Conference (moderate) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday assured the Sikh community of its safety and security.

This came in the backdrop of an incident at Malangpora in Pulwama, in which the hair of a Sikh youth was allegedly cut by a group of youths who wanted him to raise slogans in favour of freedom.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police (South Kashmir Range) Shaqat Watali said the youth from Devar Tral was on way home after work at the Air Force Station. Some youths stopped him and asked him to raise pro-freedom slogans. “But he did not oblige them. They abused him and cut off some of his hair,” he told The Hindu, quoting the complaint filed by the youth.

Mr. Watali said he could not identify anyone, but “we have picked up two suspects for questioning, and further investigation is on.” Through consultations with leaders of both communities, the situation was brought under control. “Both the communities worked together, so that the situation did not flare up, though there was palpable tension in some areas.”

However, at Press Enclave and Hyderpora in Srinagar, Baramulla and other places, Sikhs protested and urged the government to act against the culprits.

A delegation of Sikh leaders met Mr. Abdullah and the Mirwaiz. Mr. Abdullah told the delegation that the government was committed to secularism and brotherhood which, he said was the essence of ‘Kashmiriyat.'

He assured them of their security and welfare, and vowed to deal sternly with elements that harboured designs to disturb communal harmony. The majority community in Kashmir always respected the sentiments of the Sikhs, he said.

An official spokesman said the delegation professed full faith in the Chief Minister and promised him that the Sikh community, which had always worked to strengthen the communal harmony in the past two decades of turmoil in the State, would continue to do so in future.

The Mirwaiz termed the incident intolerable and asked the community leaders to remain cautious, as “such a situation will have dangerous consequences.”

The Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat Conference would work with the Sikh Co-ordination Committee to foil such designs. “There was no place for [such] acts in our culture.”

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 4:16:53 AM |

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