Kashmiris leaving Bihar lock, stock & ‘apparel’

Kashmiris leaving Bihar lock, stock & ‘apparel’

BJP Protest in Patna (PTI File Photo)

Several hundreds of Kashmiris, who used to eke out a livelihood by selling woollen clothes in Patna and adjoining areas, are suddenly leaving Bihar lock, stock and apparel.

Reason: Fear has gripped them after some of the Kashmiri shopkeepers were assaulted by few self-proclaimed Hindu nationalists owing allegiance to the ruling party.

These unidentified shady elements, protesting Pulwama terror attack, not only thrashed these poor Kashmiris in Patna but asked them to leave Bihar in a week.

At least five shopkeepers sustained injuries in the attack by marauders on Budh Marg.

One of them, Mazid Ahmad, was grievously injured and had to be admitted to a government hospital.     

“This is the first time in the last 35 years that we have to face such an attack in Bihar, a state where we do brisk business from October to March,” said Bashir Ahmad Wani, head of the Kashmiri shopkeepers, in Patna.  

Though police was deployed at Lhasa Market, the main hub where these Kashmiris sell sweaters, shawls and other woollen garments, the J-K traders have decided to wind up their business.

When this DH correspondent went to meet them at Lhasa Market, they had already left lock, stock and apparel.

“They, along with their woollen garments, left after their colleagues were attacked two days ago. The miscreants had thrown and damaged their woollen clothes,” said the security guard at the market.

“Normally, we used to return to Kashmir by mid-March. But since the situation has turned volatile, where the so-called nationalists are chanting slogans against us, painting a wrong picture of Kashmiri Muslims and warning us to leave Bihar, it’s better that we leave for our home state,” one of the panic-struck shopkeepers at Sabzibagh, requesting anonymity, told DH.