Criminal proceedings be instated against Bajrang Dal/VHP/ABVP leaders who led mobs against Kashmiri students and traders : PADS

People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism
People's Alliance for Democracy and Secularism

PADS condemns mob violence against Kashmiri students and traders after Pulwama attack

New Delhi.
24 Feb. People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) has condemned mob
violence against Kashmiri students and traders after Pulwama attack.

Alliance for Democracy and Secularism
(PADS) convener Bittani Rao issued a release here yesterday.
Full text of Released by People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS)
on 23 February, 2019 is as follows –

students, traders and workmen have suffered violent attacks in different parts
of the country after a suicide bomber of jihadi terrorist oraganisation JeM
killed more than forty CRPF jawans in Pulwama in Kashmir valley.
Students in Dehradun, Ambala, Jaipur and Yavatmal were physically threatened
and forced to leave. Two institutions in Dehradun have given a written
undertaking to the student union led by ABVP that they will not admit Kashmiri
students from the next session. According to one report at least 10 Kashmiri
students have been booked and 24 rusticated and suspended from colleges for
what officials have termed as ‘anti-national’ social media messages.
Traders in Bihar and West Bengal were attacked and their shops destroyed.
Kashmiri workmen in a sugar mill in Muzaffarnagar were asked to leave. In Jammu
city also Kashmiri state government employees were attacked in their residences
and their properties ransacked. One governor of a state has publicly endorsed
social boycott of Kashmiri people.

According to
reports mobs targeting Kashmiris were led by RSS affiliated organisations like Bajrang
Dal, VHP and ABVP. Educational institutes have acted against Kashmiri students
without any enquiry and giving students an opportunity to defend themselves.
Well known journalists who raised questions on Modi government’s Kashmir policy
have received threats. A worryingfact is that no political party, except
Kashmir based NC and PDP, and Akali Dal of Punjab has come out against attacks
on Kashmiris.

It is
commonly argued that these attacks are a‘natural’ expression of the hurt and
rage felt by some patriotic Indians after Pulwama bombing on Indian defense
forces. Indeed random mob attacks and even lynching are not uncommon in India.
They show how easy it is to violate the civic rights of citizens in the
country. The so called ‘nationalist’ attacks on Kashmiris area deep-rooted
conspiracy to alter and control the political character of Indian society.Modi
government and activists of Sanghparivar have systematically attacked selected
groups whom they label ‘anti-national’ – Kashmiris now so-called urban Naxals;
students from JNU, Dalit groups and indeed, religious minorities all over the
country. All these activities are designed to create a frenzied atmosphere so
that the Indian public comes to accept the violation of democratic norms as a
natural state of affairs. We need to realise what is at stake.

The BJP and
Modi government are bent upon using the anger of ordinary Indians when Indian
soldiers are attacked for narrow political gain in the coming elections. Modi
is being shown as the only strong leader who can defend the nation. Indians
need to realize the falsehood of this propaganda. The BJP and Modi in reality
neither have political wisdom, nor are they interested in solving burning
issues of national defense like Kashmir. They want to only milk it for
immediate political advantage against their opponents. Only now, after more
than a week of violence, and after Supreme Court’s directions to states that
Kashmiri students be protected, Modi has condemned violence against them. This
is woefully inadequate. If the PM were sincere about protecting Kashmiri
citizens, as is his constitutional duty, then this statement should have come
right when these attacks started.

The Peoples’
Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) demands that:

1. Criminal
proceedings be instated against Bajrang Dal/VHP/ABVP leaders who led mobs
against Kashmiri students and traders,

2. All
students suspended and rusticated from educational institutions be taken back
immediately, and

3. All
Kashmiris living outside the valley be provided adequate security

We also call
upon all democratic citizens and civil society organisations to reach out to
any Kashmiri students and traders in their campuses and localities; show them
solidarity and protect them against any attacks, verbal or physical. In
particular the Police need to be reminded that all citizens are to be protected
by law, regardless of their ethnic or religious identity.