Attempts to communalise situation after civilian killings: Sikh leader

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After two civilians from the minority communities were killed in Srinagar on Thursday morning, Chairperson of the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) said that attempts were being made to “communalise” the situation by some elements, but they [APSCC]  have been “trying to protect it from taking communal colour and protecting the brotherhood in the region”.

The slain civilians were identified as Supinder Koul, belonging to the minority Sikh community and Deepak Chand, who is a resident of Jammu. Both were working as teachers at a Government Boys Higher Secondary School Sangam, Eidgah, in the capital city Srinagar.  

Speaking to The Kashmir Walla, Raina further said: “We want it not to be politicised as many elements are trying to do so. I want that to be avoided. My attempt is to protect the brotherhood we have here.”

He said that some agencies are trying to make people protest on roads and create a law and order situation. “We are trying to stop it,” he said and asked the majority community and its leaders to play their role.

“The majority community and its leaders should come out and condemn the incident. They should understand the situation and stand by us [sikh community] so that the situation remains intact else it will go awry,” Raina said.

Since the offset of 2021, at least 25 civilians including political workers have been killed in different districts of Kashmir valley among them ten were killed in the capital city alone. In the past five days at least six civilians belonging to different religions were killed by suspected militants in different parts of Srinagar city alone. 

Following the spurt of civilian killings in Kashmir in the past five days, a high level meeting was convened in New Delhi on Thursday as per reports to review the security situation in the region.

Raina castigated the government for “provoking” the situation in Kashmir and said, “the government is unnecessarily provoking the situation that creates a negative atmosphere. That is unwarranted. Government needs to deal with the situation properly so that there is no loss.”

He claimed that not only some elements but the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh also want the situation to turn volatile by making use of “innocent sikh youth.”

He said that there were attempts being made to “provoke the sikh youth” as they were being told to come out of their homes “as sometime ago BJP leaders created some new Morcha by involving Sikh youth in Srinagar,” he added. 

“They are trying to use them [sikh youth]. They are innocent people and do not know the designs,” said Raina, adding, “If they lead a procession, naturally it will be against the majority, what will happen? Security situation would arise. We would not let that happen.”

However soon after the incident political parties, politicians and religious leaders strongly condemned the incident.

Chief cleric of Kashmir and Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Molvi Umar Farooq and prominent religious leaders expressed their shock and grief over the spate of civilian killings in Kashmir.

Former chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti including Jammu Kashmir Peoples Conference Chief, Sajad Gani Lone, Apni Party Chief Syed Altaf Bukhari and many others condemned the incident in “strong” words.

“Words of condemnation are not enough for this inhuman act of terror but I pray for the souls of the deceased to rest in peace,” said Abdullah. While Mehbooba Mufti castigated the Centre and said, “Disturbing to see the deteriorating situation in Kashmir where a minuscule minority is the latest target.”

Lone took to the microblogging website twitter condemned the incident and countered the “narrative of attack on minorities” in the region as he said, “It is important to understand that terrorists have no religion.”

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