Deliberate attempts on to vitiate peaceful atmosphere in Jammu region: J&K Muslim activists

Though they did not identify the "elements" but claimed that their attempts intensified after the announcement of the DDC polls
Last Updated 29 November 2020, 13:46 IST

Several Muslim activists, including a former bureaucrat, of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday alleged that "some elements" are making deliberate attempts to harm the communal harmony of the union territory's Jammu region and sought the intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

Though they did not identify the "elements" but claimed that their attempts intensified after the announcement of the District Development Council (DDC) polls, the first elections after Jammu and Kashmir was reorganised into a union territory last year.

Former bureaucrat Khalid Hussain and advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad at a press conference said that Muslims of the Jammu region are nationalist to the core and do not need a certificate from anyone to prove their nationalism.

"Deliberate attempts are being made by some elements to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of Jammu (region) by peddling lies about Muslims being land grabbers even as the fact of the matter is that there are only a handful of Muslims who have availed land under the Roshni Act," Hussain said.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court last month had ordered a CBI probe into an alleged scam in the Roshni land scheme, following which the union territory administration said it would annul all actions taken, cancel mutations and retrieve the entire land in six months.

Since then, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has released lists of those who have either illegally availed land under the Roshni Act, popularly referred to as the Roshni land scheme, or encroached state land.

Prominent members of the community such as businessman Javed Iqbal, social worker Abdul Majid and Bathindi sarpanch Hafizullah were also present at the press conference, among others.

Hussain, who is a former deputy commissioner, alleged that there are "elements who are spreading hatred against Muslims by accusing them of trying to change the demography of Jammu".

"My family is living in Jammu for generations and so are the others who are present here (at the presser)… Gujjars and Bakerwals have rendered numerous sacrifices and helped the security agencies to ensure that terrorism is uprooted from the Jammu region," he said.

"The lieutenant governor must invite all communities for a discussion on the issue to clear any misgiving among the locals," Hussain said.

During the press conference, Ahmad said that "there are certain elements that are playing politics to divide the people and they became hyperactive after the government announced the DDC elections."

He also spoke about protests that had taken place in Bathindi, and said that security personnel should be deployed in strength in Bathindi, Chuwadi, Sunjiwan and Gujjar Nagar areas of the (Jammu) city as the minority community is feeling "oppressed and depressed".

Ahmad highlighted the need for maintaining communal harmony and brotherhood by all citizens of Jammu.

(Published 29 November 2020, 13:46 IST)

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