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Fear grips Sikhs in Kashmir after threats by Indian army

November 7, 2010 | By

Srinagar (November 6, 2010): Amidst vociferous pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, thousands of people Saturday staged demonstrations in Sikh dominated Hutmarah village of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district, demanding identification and punishment for ‘army men’ involved in intimidating the community members last night.Meanwhile, police has filed a case and started further investigations.

Eyewitnesses told Press Bureau of India that for the second running day today, thousands of men women and children of the Sikh community joined by their Muslim neighbors took to streets in Hutmarah village in Mattan area of the district and staged anti-Army demonstrations. Chanting “We want freedom,” “Go India Go Back,” “Kaun karega tarjumani, Syed Ali Shah Geelani,” and anti-India, anti-Army slogans, the people were protesting against the alleged harassment of the Sikh community members by the troopers of Army’s 3 RR last night. The protesters blocked the Islamabad-Pahalgham roadway to press their demands.

In the meantime, senior civil and police officials reached the spot and tried to pacify the protesters by promising action against the guilty. The meeting between Sikh leaders and the civil administration continued till late evening.

In Year 2000 When then US President visited India 36 Sikhs were massacred by men in Indian Army Uniforms

In Year 2000 When then US President visited India 36 Sikhs were massacred by men in Indian Army Uniforms

“Why did Army men went to isolated house of the community members? Why didn’t they (Army) take village elders in confidence? Why did they run away, if they had safety concerns for us,” President, Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee, Hutmarah, Sardar Niranjan Singh told the community leaders during a marathon meeting at the local Gurudwara.

“We will not be bowed down by such cheap acts. We demand identification and punishment for the troopers responsible for the act,” he added.

Sikh Students Federation, President, Sukhvinder Singh said that over 20 hours have passed but the police has not made arrests in the case. He said the community will migrate en masse, if the government fails to bring the culprits to book.

“We’ll not allow this incident to meet the fate of Chattisinghpora massacre. No one will be allowed to sweep this case under the carpet,” he vowed.

The Sikhs have also brought the matter into the notice of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Home Minister of India. “We have lodged complaint with Chief Minister and Home Minister. In-fact, Chief minister assured us action,” said All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said.

“The locals have alleged that Army men had swooped on the village. Police has started investigations in this regard. The persons found guilty will not be spared,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad, Jaipal Singh said.

He said the civil administration has strengthened the security bandobast around the village with the deployment of additional policemen.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Islamabad, Bashir Ahmad Khan said that the ‘known battalion’ of the forces was patrolling the area last night leading to some misunderstanding between the forces and the locals.

“Security has been beefed around the village. We have registered a case and started further investigations,” he said.

However, a police official wishing not to be named said that the case Fir No 400/2010 under section 427,447, 506 RPC has been registered against the Army.

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