Zanskar tense after mobs assault Muslims

KARGIL: Police arrested at least three Buddhist zealots after a frenzy mob attacked a group of Muslims injuring a youth critically in the landlocked Zanskar division of Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir.

The relations between majority Buddhists and Muslims in Zansakar witnessed deep strain after 22 members of four families of Buddhists embraced Islam in 2012. On the directions of Zanskar Buddhist Association spearheading the Buddhist movement in the region, Buddhists are on complete boycott with the Muslim population residing in main historical town of Padum.

Eyewitnesses said that a frenzy mob attacked a group of Muslim youth near Uffti village when they were on way to their home. “Amanullah, a local youth, suffered serious injuries while the mob stripped him off and thrashed him mercilessly,” a resident of Zanskar said adding that the administration was planning to airlift the injured youth for treatment in Srinagar or Jammu.

The father of the injured youth said that his son was attacked by unruly mob without any provocation. “How long this will continue and how long the government will ignore our security concerns,” he said.

Later, tension gripped Zanskar especially  the Padum township where large number of Muslims took to streets and staged demonstrations to protest the attack on Muslims. Police swung into action and sealed all the roads to thwart the clashes between the two communities.An administrative official in Zanskar said that situation was tense but under control. “We have taken all possible measures to maintain law and order in the division,” he said.

When contacted Superintendent of Police Kargil, Sujit Kumar said that police have registered a case against the three persons involved in the attack on the youth who according to him is out of danger. “There is no need to airlift him as the youth is out of danger. We have arrested three persons in this connection and a case vide FIR number 2/2014 under section 323, 147 of RPC has been registered against them,” Kumar said.

Chief Executive Councilor Kargil Autonomous Hill Development Council Asghar Ali Karbalai said that top police officials are on job. He hailed the efforts of SP Kargil who he said brought the situation under control. “We want both the communities to live in peace and harmony as they used to live in past,” he said. (Current News Service)   

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