Srinagar: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday expressed concern over alleged incidents of violence against Kashmiri Muslims since the abrogation of Article 370.
“A few weeks ago, a college in Akhnoor was raided by Bajrang Dal goons because they found out that Muslims students were offering prayers on the campus. They threatened the students but not before snatching away their mats and prayer caps,” the party alleged in its monthly newsletter ‘Speak-Up’.
What was happening in the rest of the country is finally happening in Kashmir and Muslims are being treated in the same way as other places in India, the Mehbooba Mufti-led party said.
“Bearing in mind the events of the past few years, we cannot help but ask – do Kashmiri lives matter?” the party said.
“Imran Bashir Ganaie would not have been killed in an encounter that did not involve him. Jammu Kashmir Police (JKP) claims to have arrested Imran for killing two Uttar Pradesh labourers. Oddly enough, as per their claims, he was shot dead the day after his arrest, in JKP’s encounter with another militant who shot Imran.”
“When it comes to police’s security apparatus the truth is indeed stranger than fiction,” the party added.
The PDP said belying Bharatiya Janata Party’s claims of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, the spate of targeted killings has forced Kashmiri Pandit families in Shopian and other parts of the valley to leave for Jammu.
The party said horticulture is the backbone of the Kashmir economy but the scenes of apple farmers burning their crops symbolise the situation in the valley, referring to the protest against the alleged restrictions on the movement of apple-laden trucks on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway no. 44.
The newsletter also mentioned Sanna Mattoo, a Kashmiri journalist who won the Pulitzer prize, alleging that Kashmiri Muslims are being punished not only for existing but also excelling.