SRINAGAR: A day after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) threatened of “economic blockade” of Kashmir if beef ban issue was discussed in state Assembly, the pro-India and pro-freedom parties strongly reacted to the “intimidation” saying Kashmiris will not succumb to any pressure and will resist the court order at any cost.
VHP state president Leela Karan Sharma said that if any attempt is made to discuss the legislation in the Assembly, “we would starve people in Kashmir by enforcing an economic blockade like the one during the 2008 Amarnath land agitation”.
MLA Langate and Awami Itihad Party (AIP) president Er Rashid in his statement challenged VHP and other fascist organisations “to show courage to turn their threats into reality”.
He said Kashmiris have already suffered much at the hands of “New Delhi sponsored” state and non-state actors, but have never given up as “they stand on high legal and moral grounds over various issues”.
He reiterated that Kashmiris would neither succumb to “dirty tricks” of BJP and its allies nor will they compromise on their religious rights.
He also thanked people for the “overwhelming” response to his signature campaign and asked all MLAs to support his bill in the upcoming assembly session “to satisfy their conscience and protect the freedom of religious rights of Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir”.
The Opposition National Conference while reacting to VHP leader Leela Karan Sharma’s threatening statement said, “It was this reason that the former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had extended hand of friendship towards PDP and had agreed to provide unconditional support to Mufti Muhammad Sayeed just to keep communal parties away from the corridors of power.”
NC MLC Qaiser Jamsheed Lone who has submitted a bill with regard to beef ban in the Legislative Council told a news agency they were well aware of “the fact that if BJP will come to power in the state, there will be communal disharmony and the Hindu fundamentalists will leave no stone unturned to divide the state on religious lines”.
“It is a known agenda of BJP and its right wing Hindu organizations to spew venom against Muslims and these parties simply want a division of the state,” Lone said.
Legislator and chairman People’s Democratic Front (PDF) Hakim Muhammad Yasin said that Hindu fundamentalists should stop living in a fool’s paradise and should keep in mind that Kashmiri people are not dependent on Jammu.
“BJP, Bajrang Dal, VHP and other Hindu outfits are sailing in the same boat and their sole agenda is to divide the Jammu and Kashmir into pieces. PDP led government should clear its stand and it should come clean and take stringent action against communal leaders like Leela Karan,” Hakim Yasin said.
MLA Khansahab said that government wastes no time in taking action against people in Kashmir, but in Jammu “it acts as a mute spectator and spares those elements who indulge in hate speeches and spread communal hatred”.
“We demand stringent action against these hate mongers. Whether discussion will take place in assembly or not but one thing is sure that nobody can snatch the religious rights from the people and Muslims have right to consume and sell beef,” he said, adding that people like Leela Karan are the source of ‘division’ who want to divide this state on religious lines.
Strongly reacting against what it termed as “provocation” by VHP, the Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah said Kashmiris aren’t among “those succumbing to intimidations”. “We’ll continue our struggle and resist every anti-Kashmir move tooth and nail,” he said. He termed the threat as “fascist mindset” of VHP saying the Muslims of Kashmir will not, in any way, get scared of such intimidations. “We will not make Halal Haram for ourselves at the diktats of the communal forces. If they think of making us succumb to their non-sense threats, they are living in fool’s paradise. This is sheer madness on their part.”
Shah in a statement said that before 1947, we used to trade through Jhelum Valley road. “If they talk of blocking the supply, it makes no difference to us.” “In 1862, the then Maharaja, in order to please a particular section of society, banned beef and since then some dynastic rulers didn’t even try to revoke the law just to be on chair and appease their masters in Delhi.”
National Front chairman Nayeem Ahmad Khan in his statement dared the VHP to “go ahead with its plan and bear the results”.
“Don’t threat a nation which has time and again proved its steadfastness against imperialistic and communal forces. VHP must know that Muslims only fear Almighty Allah and do not care about anybody’s hollow threats. We have been and will continue to slaughter cows and other bovine animals, let them do whatever they can,” Nayeem Khan said.
He questioned the government for not taking any action against VHP “for its open threats”. “The so-called state government should have taken quick action against the VHP leader but its silence has again proved that it is working as a collaborator of Hindu extremist forces.”