JAMMU: Bharatiya Janata Party and its affiliate organisations have started a campaign seeking re-instatement of the police officer who had ordered firing on Gujjars who were resisting eviction from a piece of land in Sarore, Jammu.
Upping the ante, the saffron party and other groups are demanding action against those who they said have grabbed state land.
BJP president for Vijaypur Block Pawan Bakshi had on February 26 blocked the Jammu-Pathankote highway near Bari Brahmana, demanding re-instatement of the station house officer of Bari Brahmana, Bharat Sharma, and action against the alleged land grabbers.
A day after the protest, social organisations known for their affiliation with BJP, addressed a press conference. They too sought re-instatement of the suspended SHO and action against the land grabbers.
BJP spokesperson Prof Verinder Gupta said law should be allowed to take its own course.
“Excesses have been committed by both sides. The Gujjar youth who was killed had attacked the police party. Circumstances show that SHO did nothing wrong. Temporary shelters are okay but no one should be allowed to construct permanent structures over state land,” Gupta said.
However, he added that people occupying state land should be first warned of punitive action.
When Kashmir Reader contacted president of Amar Kshatriya Rajput Sabha, Narayan Singh, he expressed no remorse over the killing of Gujjar youth but said that such things do happen when “people take law and order in their own hand”.
“The concerned SHO had no option but to use force. He did what should have been done at that time. We condemn the action that has been taken against him,” said Narayan.
He warned the government of serious consequences if it does not “correct its course”.
“A compensation of Rs 6 lakh has been announced for the Gujjar youth who was resisting anti-encroachment drive while no one has even taken cognizance of the murder of a forest guard who was killed for doing his duty. If this discrimination continues, the state government would be responsible for the consequences. Mob knows no rule,” said Narayan.
Similar views were echoed by president Dogra Brahman Pratinidhi Sabha Ved Prakash Sharma.
He said, “The Gujjar youth had got killed when he was now allowing the police to do its duty. They snatched weapons from the police. They were pelting stones on the police. They were not allowing the officials to do their duty. Police had no option but to use force to evict them from the land belonging to JDA.”
These and other organizations and individuals have threatened that they would call for a one-day strike across Jammu region against the suspension of the SHO.
Such sentiment has created anxiety among the Gujjars living in Vijaypur and Sarore areas of Samba district.
“We get messages we would be sent packing once the BJP comes to power again. We have repeatedly said that we did not snatch weapons from police. But they are adamant on ‘teaching us a lesson,’” Said Mohammad Kazin, a Gujjar youth.