March 21, 2014 | By Mir Iqbal
Srinagar Kashmir (March 21, 2014): Accusing the state government of discrimination with the Sikh community, All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) has asked the members of Sikh community to hold their votes for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In a statement, APSCC Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina said that Sikh voters should not fall prey to the hoax promises given by the leaders of political parties especially National Conference and Congress. He said both NC and Congress have failed to fulfill the genuine demands of the community that are pending for long now.
“One wonders on what agenda the leaders of the ruling alliance in the state would come before the Sikh voters and seek their votes. The present coalition dispensation has miserably failed to solve the genuine problems of the Sikh community. As such these people don’t have moral or ethical authority to seek votes from Sikhs living across the state,” said Raina.
Raina said that the 23 years of turmoil has shattered the standing of Sikhs in the state more so those living in the Kashmir valley. He said members of various Sikh groups under the banner of APSCC met Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and other senior functionaries in the state government for redressal of their grievances.
“The problems being faced by the community are being deliberately kept un-attended under a plan thereby causing numerous problems to the people. The state government miserably failed in extending the National Minorities Act to the state. This is despite repeated reminders by National Commission for Minorities and also Sikh groups functioning under the banner of APSCC. The extension of Minorities Act was fully funded by centre and there was no burden on state ex-chequer,” said Raina.
Raina said that Sikhs constitute an important component of the electorate in the majority of the Lok Sabha seats. He said members of the community would ensure that ‘exploitative’ elements are not allowed to enter the parliament and that their their genuine problems once again take a backseat.
“Under the mass contact programme we have already educated the Sikh voters in both rural and urban areas not to vote for people who have deceived them over the past many years. We have also told the members of community to be vigilant from various agents within the community since they are hell-bent on causing harm to the common good of the community,” said Raina.
Raina said that Sikh suffered huge losses in agriculture and horticulture after being forced to migrate from the villages and settle in the city and other district headquarters. He asked the members of Sikh community to put their votes on hold and said that next course of action would be decided in due time.
Even after 14 years of the Chittisinghpora episode, in which around 50 people were killed in Chittinsinghpora, Pathribal, Brakpora, including 36 Sikhs of Chittinsinghpora, no inquiry has been constituted which we have been regularly demanding and it is very sad that nothing concrete has come out.
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