J&K: Anti-Pak protest by Gujjars for killing 2 nomads

J&K: Anti-Pak protest by Gujjars for killing 2 nomads

Residents drive along a busy road in Srinagar. AFP photo

A group of Gujjars led by former minister Abdul Gani Kohli on Wednesday staged an anti-Pakistan protest against the recent killing of two members of the community by terrorists in Kashmir.

Several BJP leaders belonging to the community, including state vice president Ghulam Ali Khatana, also joined the protest outside the party headquarters and raised anti-Pakistan slogans.

Bullet-riddled bodies of the two nomads -- Abdul Qadir Kohli and his cousin Manzoor Ahmad Kohli -- were recovered on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, after they were abducted by terrorists from the higher reaches of Tral in south Kashmir on the intervening night of August 18 and 19.

"The murder of two innocent persons by Pakistan-backed terrorists is unbearable. The Gujjar community will not be cowed down by such acts as we are nationalists by core and ready to sacrifice our lives for our nation," Kohli said.

Describing the killing of two Gujjars as the "murder of humanity and an anti-Islamic act", Khatana expressed hope that the killers will be identified and appropriate action will be taken against them.

"The BJP stands with the bereaved families at this hour of grief," he said, assuring all help to the families of the deceased persons.

Later, addressing a press conference, BJP state spokesperson Tahir Choudhary said the killing of the two Gujjars is a conspiracy to demoralise the community.

"We appeal that the community members living in inhospitable and far flung area of the state be given weapons like village defence committee (VDC) members to safeguard themselves from the terrorists and anti-national elements," he added.