We demand exemplary punishment for the killers: KP Sangharsh Samiti

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“Kashmiri Pandits feel pain of minorities whatsoever their religion is”

JAMMU: The gruesome killing of Zahid Ahmad, a Kashmiri trucker over the beef ban issue, has tipped Kashmir again into turmoil. The spectre of a fresh Jammu versus Kashmir communal divide on the pattern of the 2008 Amarnath land row looms large.

But even as communal politics over cow slaughter spikes in the rest of the country, in a heartening sign, a Hindu organisation – in fact, a Kashmiri Pandits organisation – has taken an unusual stand.

The Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti has supported a hartal in the Valley over the killing of trucker Zahid Ahmad.

The attack triggered protests and a shutdown in the Valley. And now the death of Zahid has pushed the situation over the brink. Polarisation runs deep. But the Sangharsh Samiti has chosen to condemn and protest the murder of Zahid and support the shutdown. This is a first for a Hindu organisation in Kashmir.

“We have supported the hartal because Zahid was an innocent person, making his ends meet. It is a question of humanity,” says Sanjay Tickoo, president of Sangharsh Samiti.

“Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley feel the pain of the minorities wherever they are and whatsoever their religion is,” he added. “We demand exemplary punishment for the killers.”

He also blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi silence for what is happening in India now. “I blame Pm Modi. No doubt, he has established himself internationally as a tall leader, but he seems to be faltering in India. And I blame his silence for this. If he is PM of India, why is he silent?” Tickoo asks.

There is a group within the BJP that is acting a spoilsport, he says. “I believe they are deliberately damaging him, trying to steal his massive mandate. They don’t want him to become the next Gandhi of India – Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Prachi etc seem to be on their own dubious mission.”

He also believes that the BJP wants to dominate and come to power by hook or crook. Thus he doesn’t want to disturb the Hindu vote and has let loose all kinds of elements to pander to the majority community’s sentiments.

“I also blame the majority within the majority community for its silence. A few thousand people are speaking on behalf of the community and giving India a bad name but most are silent.”

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