Srinagar, February 20 (KMS): As the Kashmiri people are finding themselves at the receiving end of violence and threats at the hands of Hindu mobs in many Indian cities following the Pulwama blast, the Indians working and living in Kashmir valley are feeling safe and not a single case of anyone being threatened has come to the fore.
The Kashmiri students and businessmen alike are facing violence, harassment and assaults in many Indian cities and towns following the Thursday explosion in Pulwama that left more than 40 Indian paramilitary troops dead. The Kashmiri people have been targeted even in occupied Kashmir’s Jammu city and the fear that has gripped the city can be gauged by the fact that Jammu Muslim Waqf Council has closed its doors for the Kashmiris who are facing attacks in the city.
Vikram, a street vendor from Indian state of Bihar who sells popcorns in the crowded Goni Khan area in Srinagar said he feared the same fate as that of some Kashmiri people who were threatened and beaten up in India. “We are five people living in one room. All of us are street vendors. As we were getting calls from family that tension is escalating in entire India and Kashmiris are on target, we sat in our room for two days,” he was quoted by a Srinagar-based English daily as having said.
“An elderly man who has a shop in Goni Khan noticed that we are scared and are not coming out. He came to our room and said, ‘no one will dare to touch you. You are our guests here’ and after that we resumed our daily work.”
Prasad, a shoemaker from India’s Haryana state, who has been working in Kashmir for 9 years said, “I am ashamed how madly our country is behaving. But this is all politics. No Kashmiri even touched us here.”
While narrating an incident, Prasad who lives in a slum area of Lasjan said, “My family is also here – wife and two children. We were feeling cold the other day and one of the neighbours who live in a three-storey house saw that. He gave me some clothes and kerosene to burn the firewood and warm ourselves. Isn’t this slap on those goons who harass Kashmiris across India?”
In Nowhatta area of Srinagar, a toy seller near Jamia Majid said, “Recently some boys came and shot my video wherein they were asking me ‘Has any Kashmiri harassed you ever? And I gave them a detailed interview saying, Kashmir is like a second home. I also told them that during the unrest of 2016 no one harmed us.”
I was in Ganderbal area in Kashmir to for nishandeehi of our ancestral land, and local village goons encircled us and create a vitiated atmosphere. We managed to escape from the scene by using an excuse as a tactic. Close shave.