Islamic Terrorism in India

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Jammu’s Hindu intifada: Jammu’s Hindus will no longer tolerate oppression by Kashmir’s Muslims

Posted by jagoindia on August 7, 2008

“Years of neglect of Jammu by Kashmir has resulted in what you are seeing today. The people are frustrated. The Pandits have at last found a platform to vent their anger. Jammu has more people than Kashmir, but the lion’s share always goes to the valley,” says Professor Hari Om.

Jammu’s Hindu uprising
Kanchan Gupta, August 05, 2008

Jammu is burning. And as of now it appears unlikely that the rage sweeping through the entire province can be doused in the coming days. On Monday, the police, clueless as to how to handle the situation and directed by an inspector general of police who is an outsider, shot at protesters in Samba. They did not shoot to injure or scare away the crowds chanting slogans against Governor N N Vohra and waving the national tricolour. They shot to kill by aiming their guns at the protesters’ heads.
The brutal response of the administration and Vohra’s inability of to gauge the extent of popular disquiet and outrage have only strengthened the resolve of the protesters to continue with their agitation. The relentless bandh and blockade of highways has been extended by another five days. People continue to defy curfew and army pickets, pouring into the streets in hundreds, something unprecedented in India.

What we are witnessing in Jammu is a Hindu intifada: The young and old, men and women, youth and children are locked in an unequal battle with the police — and, since Friday, the army — demanding the immediate revocation of the government order cancelling the transfer of 800 kanals of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board. The land was meant for creating temporary facilities for pilgrims who trek to the Amarnath shrine every year, braving inclement weather and jihadi attacks.

It’s been more than a month that the Hindus of Jammu have taken to the streets, burning tyres, taunting policemen, braving tear-gas and real bullets, violating curfew and blockading the highway to Srinagar [Images]. The images emanating from Jammu are eerily similar to those that emanated from Gaza and the West Bank during the Palestinian intifada. More tellingly, the tactics that have been adopted by the protesters are those that have often brought the Kashmir valley to a standstill. If you look at the photographs of the Hindu intifada, you will get a sense of how Jammu has decided to give Kashmir a taste of its own medicine — in this case it is Dum Dum Dawai (a public thrashing).

The details of the land transfer fiasco are well-known. The Congress-Peoples Democratic Party government headed by Ghulam [Images] Nabi Azad had instructed the forest department to transfer the land to the SASB. Within days Muslims in the Kashmir valley, led and instigated by pro-Pakistani separatists, took to the streets, insisting no land should be provided for pilgrim facilities.

The All-Parties Hurriyat Conference spread three canards: First, the transfer amounted to alienation of ‘Kashmiri land’; second, it would lead to intrusion of ‘Hindu culture’ in Muslim Kashmir; and, third, it would cause ecological damage.

Amarnath pilgrims deserve better
The PDP, sensing an opportunity to revive its pro-separatist — if not brazenly anti-India/anti-Hindu — image in the run-up to the assembly election in Jammu & Kashmir, joined the protest and subsequently withdrew from the government. To his credit, Azad stood firm and refused to budge from his government’s decision, till N N Vohra took over as governor, replacing Lieutenant General S K Sinha (retd).

Vohra, in his capacity as ex-officio chairman of the SASB, wrote a letter to Azad, returning the land and also offering to relinquish the board’s task of organising the annual yatra, thus making the pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine subordinate to the valley’s Muslims �ber alle (above all) politics and Delhi’s equally odious politics of Muslim appeasement.

Vohra reportedly sent his letter to Azad at 8.30 pm on June 28. “The news of that abject surrender provoked an explosion of outrage across Jammu,” says a senior member of the Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti, a broad-based organisation without any political affiliation which is at the forefront of the protest.

“The governor has violated the SASB Act. He cannot act unilaterally. Any decision of the board has to be endorsed by at least five members,” says Professor Hari Om, academic and vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit. “He is also in contempt of the high court which had passed an interim order approving the transfer of 800 kanals of land to the board in Baltal,” he adds.

For all his efforts to appease the Muslim protesters in the Kashmir valley by ‘returning’ the land that had been allotted for Hindu pilgrims, Vohra was unable to save the Congress-PDP government. The PDP pulled out from the ruling alliance on June 28; on July 1, Azad, obviously under mounting pressure from his party bosses in Delhi, reversed the earlier decision.

Meanwhile, in Jammu there was a spontaneous shutdown on June 30. “I don’t recall such a massive bandh in recent years,” says a lawyer who has been involved with the protest; he does not wish to be named, fearing harassment by authorities. Neither do the protesters wish to be identified because they fear they will be picked up from their homes by the police who take their instructions from Srinagar.

So, every morning, afternoon, evening and night, students, workers, professionals, senior citizens and housewives take to the streets, engaging the police in dogfights, hurling tear-gas shells back at their tormentors, chasing cops when they are outnumbered, retreating into narrow alleys when the men in uniform re-gather, and then surging out all over again. Their faces masked with handkerchiefs, they hurl stones; their eyes reflecting their rage. Scores have been shot and wounded; three of them have died; a young man was chased across rooftops by the police — he jumped to his death.

“Each death only makes us more determined. We are not going to be bullied by the valley anymore. Jammu wants a voice of its own. Jammu’s Hindus will no longer tolerate oppression by Kashmir’s Muslims,” says a young protester, still in his teens, from his house in downtown Jammu. His voice has just begun to crack.

The day after the June 30 bandh, Jammu flared up with street marches and protest rallies. The authorities responded by clamping curfew, in an effort to force people to remain indoors, till July 7. Women came out of their homes and dared the police to shoot them. An enduring image of the Hindu intifada is that of an aged woman, a Pandit who was forced out of the valley along with her family and three lakh other Pandits in the early days of jihadi terror, threatening a Kalashnikov-sporting policeman at a curfew picket with her tattered and torn slipper.

On July 7, the Congress-PDP government officially exited office; the next day the Sangharsh Samiti suspended its agitation, giving the governor a fortnight’s time to either have the land restored to the SASB or resign from office. “Vohra did neither. He only added fuel to the fire. He has been insensitive and his actions have only served to provoke the protesters,” says a senior official in the Jammu administration.

“Years of neglect of Jammu by Kashmir has resulted in what you are seeing today. The people are frustrated. The Pandits have at last found a platform to vent their anger. Jammu has more people than Kashmir, but the lion’s share always goes to the valley,” says Professor Hari Om.

Jammu province has 37 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies. The Kashmir valley has 46 assembly seats and elects three Lok Sabha members of Parliament. Of the 37 assembly constituencies in Jammu province, 25 have a Hindu majority population; the remaining 12 have a Muslim majority profile. “Our voice naturally gets drowned,” says an advocate who is a member of the Sangharsh Samiti.

The natural beneficiary of the Hindu intifada would be the BJP. It could end up sweeping all the Hindu majority seats in Jammu province and even emerge as the single-largest party in the next assembly. The Muslim vote in the valley would be divided between the National Conference and the PDP. The Congress could get wiped out — it has little to claim as support in the valley; following the intifada in Jammu, it can’t look forward to winning 15 seats in this province as it did in 2002.

This should have set alarm bells ringing at the Congress headquarters in Delhi. Strangely, the party’s ‘high command’ doesn’t seem to care. Or so it would seem from the near non-response to the protest.

Vohra and his patrons in Delhi have “clearly underestimated the determination of Jammu’s long-suffering Hindus who have had to cope with denial and deprivation for decades as the state government focuses only on the Kashmir valley,” the advocate- activist says.

This explains what happened on July 22. Kuldeep Raj Dogra, in his mid-30s, who was participating in a hunger strike at Jammu’s Parade Ground, decided to do something tragically dramatic: He consumed poison, stood up to read out a passionately patriotic poem he had penned, faltered and fell dead. “It was his way of registering his protest against Omar Abdullah’s speech in Parliament… he was incensed by the National Conference leader’s duplicity,” says Professor Hari Om.

The police panicked. They forcibly took away Dogra’s body to his hometown, Bisnah, 15 km from Jammu, and “tried to cremate it using old tyres, kerosene oil and liquor”, according to a Sangharsh Samiti leader. His widow Shilpi tried to prevent the cremation and raised a hue and cry. The police have been accused of “insulting, abusing and assaulting” Shilpi to silence her. But a huge crowd gathered and snatched Dogra’s body from the police. It was taken to Jammu and the situation subsequently just went out of control.

Since then, the Hindu intifada has gathered both force and speed. Curfew has been clamped on all of Jammu and Samba. The army has been called out. The governor has been virtually forced to remain confined within the Raj Bhavan by protesters who continue to gather at the gates in large numbers with every passing hour. Vohra’s ‘eight-point formula’, which included ‘allowing’ the SASB to ‘maintain infrastructure during the yatra period’, to end the deadlock, has been spurned. The Sangharsh Samiti is adamant that it will settle for nothing less than restoration of the 800 kanals of land to the SASB for Hindu pilgrims.

Just how determined the protesters are can be gauged from the manner in which thousands of them laid siege to the airport after hearing that Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti were flying in. They had to be flown from the airport to Raj Bhavan in a helicopter after the protesters refused to let them through.

Since Friday night, the intifada has escalated and spread to virtually every corner of Jammu province. Protesters, defying curfew, have been relentlessly pouring out into the streets throughout the night, daring policemen and army personnel to shoot them. Two men were shot dead, 35 were injured when the police fired on protesters ransacking the district magistrate’s office in Samba. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, the intifada was truly raging in Jammu and beyond.

All trucks headed for Srinagar have been stopped by protesters at Samba and on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway. No trucks are being allowed to enter Jammu from Srinagar. Kashmir’s Muslims could yet get to know what it feels like to be at the receiving end of popular fury and mass anger, as opposed to the valley’s made-in-Pakistan rage.

Kanchan Gupta is associate editor, The Pioneer. He is based in New Delhi

One Response to “Jammu’s Hindu intifada: Jammu’s Hindus will no longer tolerate oppression by Kashmir’s Muslims”

  1. lakhan said

    jammu discrimnation is totally based communal agenda bieng carried forward by some forces working there. Jammu has always got tyhe lions share where as kashmir and ladakh have always been deprived of all basic aminitiies and other infrastructure in the name of loyalty and pro azaadi slogans.
    i am highly thankful to to the poeple who started this movement, bcoz a common kashmiri has always been cought in the cross fire and other stress and didnt had the time to go through discremantion factor.
    till 1947 J&K state was ruled by Maharja ( jammu Dogra Ruler) and the kashmiri muslims were given petty jobs( and even it is said that Mahaja would use Kashmiri Muslims in place of horses to carry the load). now lets discuss the so called discrimnation on Jammuiets——
    01. For last two decades the budget allocation given to all three parts of state.. from kashiris portion a hefty amount is spent on maintianing Law & Order,( becoz it is a disturbed state), its only last year that two parks were maintianed by state government with the aid from J&K bank. this is developmental work bieng here. According to a computation made by the General Administration Department (GAD) in 2005, for submission to the Sachar Committee, the state had roughly 3,52,000 employees. The Department worked out the percentage of employees to the total strength of respective communities. Hindu employees represent 4.61 percent of the 30 lakh Hindu population in the state whereas Muslims have a representation of 2.85 percent for the 68 lakh Muslim population. So relative to the respective populations, Hindus outnumber Muslims in the State government. This should question the ‘assertions’ of discrimination effusing from the winter capital. Ridicule them. Deflate them.
    Scanning the composition of the State administration, the claims of discrimination do come home, indeed. The irony, though, is that the victim of this discrimination is not the ‘Pro National’ Jammu wala as we have been made to believe but the ‘Anti National’ Kashmiri, to put in the latest Right wing lingo. One, which is being endorsed by our wannabe Prime Minister L K Advani as well.
    Starting with the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the total cadre strength is 94 with 24 officers belonging to the Kashmir division, 27 officers belonging to the Jammu division and two from Ladakh. The other 41 babus are from outside the state. So where exactly is Jammu getting discriminated in all this? Delusion, but nothing! Further, most of the core developmental departments like Planning, Finance, R&B, PHE and Irrigation are headed by non-Kashmiris. Even the all important departments of Agriculture, Revenue, Social Welfare, Health, Home, CAPD, Industries and Commerce, Information, PDD are ‘endowed’ to non-Kashmiris. The trend is the same for Science and Technology, Transport and Culture. No Kashmiri components!
    Another ‘discriminating’ fact, for the record. Since 1947, out of 26 Chief Secretaries of the State, only 6 have been Kashmiri Muslims. How’s that for discrimination for the only Muslim majority state of ‘secular’ India. But no one has ever stood up for this. Makes sense, in a way. Why would a Kashmiri Muslim civil servant take the ‘risk’ of speaking against discrimination engineered by a minority and be branded as ‘anti national’. Not worth it! Never was.
    Now comes the real shocker. The Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS). This is where scores have to be settled, intriguing serious questions have to be asked, discrimination has to be debated and alienation of Kashmiri Muslims has to be addressed. Out of the 338 KAS cadre officers in the state, 155 officers belong to Kashmir division, 151 to Jammu division and 22 to Ladakh division. 10 officers are from junior KAS. Now how can this representation be fair, even ethical? This is unfair by any account of economic management or population distribution. The ratio is 55:45 in favor of Muslims but why has everything been worked out and settled at 50:50? It is not supposed to be that way. Kashmir outnumbers others in terms of population, but why is that they are outnumbered when it comes to Administration, Judiciary, Police and even Private enterprise? This preposterous idea of 50:50 distribution is absolutely fake, senseless by all parameters. Save your disappointment, resentment and protests for now though. Save them for the ‘administrative genocide’ I am about to illustrate.
    From 2001 till date, 478 KAS appointments have been made. Kashmiris are at 106, Ladakh at 12 and Jammu at a staggering overpowering figure of 360. Discrimination? No, not by any standards. This is something far beyond the term, with devastating consequences for the majority. As I said ‘administrative genocide’, if you like. Engineering, competent and successful, has been done for the next three decades and things (read Kashmiris) have been leveled out for the ‘pro National’ Jammu bureaucrats. In fact it would not even make sense to call it KAS five years down the line. It will be, rather already can be, rechristened as Jammu Administrative Service (JAS). And here in Kashmir, we would even have to import BDOs and Tehsildars!
    And mind you, Kashmiris are not overpowered in bureaucracy alone. It’s all across. Take for example the 641 Muslims and the 1015 Hindus figuring in the tentative seniority list of 1656 Junior Agriculture Assistants as of April 2006. Or for that matter the 114 Muslim AEEs in Works Department against the 164 Hindu AEEs as of May 2005. And be assured, it only gets worse after that.
    The latest recruitments don’t show any mercy to Muslims or Kashmiris. Amongst the 429 Accounts Assistants selected by the Service Selection Board in April 2008, Jammu accounts for 334 Assistants while Kashmir gets a ‘fabulous’ 95. I am not even going to comment on that.
    Of course, Raj Bhawan, the custodian of the constitutional rights of all sections of society remains off limits for at least one community, no prizes. The last Muslim Secretary the First Citizen of the state had was when we used to have a Sadr i Riyasat. Since then it is graciously adorned by the malis of Floriculture Department who are considered indispensable for their manicuring skills and presenting a gulab every morning to the sahib of the estate. However with the arrival of the present Governor two middle level Muslim officers from the former Chief Minister’s office are now manning the secretariat outpost of Raj Bhavan.
    To conclude, all this is in complete sync with the latest branding of Kashmiris. Anti Nationals, at the end of the day you see.
    JUDICIARY: The actual composition of the J&K High Court Bench gives Kashmir 6 slots and Jammu 6. Of these two from Jammu, Justice V K Gupta and Justice T S Thakur are already Chief Justices posted on deputation. Justice Bilal Nazki from Kashmir is a judge on deputation to the Bombay High Court.
    The State Hugh Court has so far sent 3 judges to the Supreme Court, one of whom, Justice Anand, served as Chief Justice of India. The other two were justice Raja Jaswant Singh and Justice R P Sethi. You know their home addresses.

    now , industrialisation of state—– state government has framed a industrial policy for state and all benifits are diverted to jammu and that has resulted in massive industries in jammu shereas in kashmir this policy was never implemented. it is becoz of kashmiris you poeple have got the maximuma nd innocent kshmiri are bieng killed even if they ask for clean water to drink. 80% of goods produced in jammu are consumed in kshmir and there is no other market for ur goods. We produce electricity here and that is exported to other parts of country.
    Now, Dal lake— Mahaja has been doing much more that what is bieng done today to preserve it.
    India has never trusted Kashmiri, you know it very well.
    More than 500000 Muslimas were killed by jammuiets in 1947 and nobody talks about that, isnt it hypocracy.

    Kashmir population 10% more than Jammu
    Jammu gets excess allocation of Rs 737 Cr, Valley doesn’t complain

    Special Correspondent
    Srinagar, Aug 21: Regarding the much talked about discrimination with Jammu there is a marked contrast in fact and faction. Fact is that the population of Kashmir exceeds that of Jammu’s by 10 percent; and the fact is that during past 17 years the per capita expenditure in Jammu has been estimated at 30 percent more than Kashmir. So the discrimination against Jammu is fiction and Kashmir being discriminated is a starker yet underplayed fact.
    The official figures reveal that a set pattern had been adopted in discriminating with Kashmir region. Looking back at these figures in the financial year of 1992-93 the per capita expenditure in Jammu region was Rs 775.62 crores as against Rs 701.58 crores in Kashmir. It was Rs 1486.92 crores in the Ladakh region in the same year. However, the expenditure in Ladakh has been always on higher side given the difficult terrain and much more overhead costs than both Kashmir and regions.
    The trend has further been strengthened in 1993-94 as the figures in Jammu touched Rs 802.48 crores and for Kashmir the same was slightly hiked to Rs 725.33 crores. From 2000-2001 the difference in spending the government funds has touched an amount of nearly Rs 300 crores. But it has touched a whopping Rs 533 crores in 2006-2007, Rs 691 crores in 2007-08 and on the top of it Rs 737 crores in current financial year of 2008-09. According to projected figures of the planning department the population of Kashmir region stands at 6755366 while the same in Jammu would be 5464255.
    Apart from these allocations the investment in the sectors like Power are not on region-wise basis. Like the Baghliar Power project falls in Jammu region but it will cater to whole state. Sources clarified that in absolute figures the higher expenditure for Kashmir province is on account of reconstruction of infrastructure like bridges, hospitals, school buildings etc destroyed during the turmoil period and projects like Dal Development which considered as a National Project.
    More over all the major power projects under PMRP like Pakul Dal, Bursar, Keeru, Kirthai, Baghliar are all in Jammu province. A township of Kashmiri migrants is coming at Jammu at the cost of Rs 345 crores. Under NABARD the road projects sanctioned for Jammu are on higher side than Kashmir. Sources disclosed that departments do not share region wise funding under Centrally Sponsored Schemes as these are always lopsided in favour of Jammu.

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