Police File FIR, Arrest 3; Second Attack On Kashmiris In A Fortnight
Srinagar- In a second such attack in less than a fortnight, a group of hooligans assaulted four Kashmiri traders and allegedly looted their merchandise after they refused to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and anti-Pakistan slogans in Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand state.
Tanvir Ahmad Shah, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, Burhan and Ghulam Nabi, who have been selling Kashmiri woollen clothes in the city for several years, were intercepted by a group of armed goons on the Kadru Bridge on Saturday morning and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram and anti-Pakistan slogans, eyewitnesses said.
When the Kashmiri traders refused to follow their diktat, the goons, believed to be associated with right-wing Hindu groups, beat them blue and black. The hooligans also allegedly looted the merchandise of the Kashmiri traders before fleeing from the spot.
“Every winter, we come to Ranchi to sell woollen clothes from Kashmir. We have been visiting this city for the last 13 years. However, for over a month now, we are being constantly harassed and attacked,” said Riyaz Ahmad Wani.
On Saturday morning, he said, the Kashmiri traders left with their merchandise laden rickshaws for business when a mob of over 20 goons intercepted them on the Kadru Bridge.
“The goons called us terrorists. They forced us to chant Jai Shri Ram and anti-Pakistan slogans. When we refused, they ran amok and started beating us,” Wani said.
He also claimed to have survived miraculously after a goon hit his head with an iron rod.
“Luckily, the helmet I was wearing saved my life. The impact of the attack was such that my helmet broke into pieces,” Wani said, while showing his helmet to reporters outside the Police Station Doranda.
Another Kashmiri trader accused police of failing to act against the goons despite witnessing the broad daylight assault.
“We have been left at the mercy of God. Our only crime is that we are Muslims and Kashmiris. We don’t feel safe here anymore,” he said.
However, police denied the allegations and said that three suspects have been detained in connection with the assault in a swift action
“The police arrested a few miscreants after some traders were beaten up at Kadru Pul. A case has also been filed in this regard,” City DSP, Prabhat Ranjan said.
To prevent such incidents from happening, Ranjan said, profiles of all Kashmiri businessmen will be made and shared with police stations to ensure their safety and security.
Meanwhile, scores of Kashmiri traders joined by many locals staged a protest outside the Police Station Doranda demanding strict action against the culprits. The protesters also blocked the road outside the police station to reinforce their demands.
On the assurances of senior police officers, the protesters later dispersed peacefully.
Pertinently, this was the second attack on Kashmiri traders in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Police Station Doranda, in less than a fortnight.
On November 11, three Kashmiri youth Bilal Ahmed, Shabir Ahmed and Waseem Ahmed were beaten up in the Hathikhana area of the city after they refused to shout anti-Pakistan slogans. The Kashmiri trio were also threatened of dire consequences if they don’t leave the city as soon as possible.
Following the assault, police had registered an FIR and arrested the accused identified as Kishori.
Follow this link to join our WhatsApp group: Join Now
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.