The authorities in Jammu and Kashmir Monday thwarted a ‘peace march’ called against the violence in Kishtwara by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. Ieshan Wani shows you some frames he captured.
Hundreds of people and JKLF supporters assembled at Maisuma and started marching towards the city centre– Lal Chowk. The marchers were shouting pro-Aazadi slogans.
The marchers were also demanding a ban of Village Defence Committee members who have reportedly unleashed terror in the Chenab Valley.
But the posse of government forces who were deputed to foil the march swung in to action and detained several marchers.
The march was called by JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik. Addressing a hurriedly called press conference here, Malik said, “Was it a co-incidence or a pre-planned conspiracy that first communal clashes started in Zanskar and then sectarian clashes happened in Budgam. And now communal clashes have happened in Kishtwar and other parts of Jammu division.”
The JKLF chairman claimed that election politics has become so dirty now that now violence is being resorted and innocents are killed. “No religion allows what happened in Kishtwar.”
The marchers burnt tyres on the Maisuma road. Questioning the silence maintained by civil society in Jammu, he said, “Why they are hiding when the fire of communal clashes is spreading. Our appeal to saner voices in Jammu is to defuse the tension and they come forward and play their role.” Quoting the 2008 incident when Kashmir based traders decided to boycott purchasing goods from Jammu traders in the aftermath of economic blockade of Valley, Malik said, “The traders community of Jammu approached the Coordination Committee (CC) leadership in Kashmir and appealed them to end the boycott with Jammu traders which the CC did. Business community of Jammu has to answer this time what they want.”
Malik said that Village Defence Committees in Jammu division were playing the same role as Ikhwanis (counter insurgents) played in Kashmir. “Ikhwanis killed innocent people and also tries to silence the voices of saner elements. Same is being done by VDCs now in Jammu.” He said that state can’t absolve itself from the blame. “Can state say some one else is responsible for happenings in Jammu division when they have themselves armed the VDCs,” he added.