Can’t allow situation to polarize: Dy CM
The silence at Lal Chowk, Srinagar was broken on Wednesday with Hindu rightwing activists raising pro-India slogans who had come to hoist tri-color at historic clock tower—the city centre where India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru had made a plebiscite promise to Kashmiris.
Witnesses said people and traders were yet to reach the commercial hub, as the activists of several rightwing Hindu organizations, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal reached Lal Chowk amid mist and winter chill.
They said the rightwing activists tried to hoist tri-color at the historic clock tower but police swung into action and foiled the attempt.
Police detained the Hindu rightwing activists and e bundled them into police cab.
In a video circulated on social media, one of the rightwing activists reminded three-time Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) President, Farooq Abdullah “to refrain from speaking language of Kashmiri separatists”.
“It doesn’t suit him (Abdullah). If he wants to come into power, then he should work for employment of youth and normalcy in Kashmir,” an activist is seen saying in the video, before he was detained by police.
On November 28, Jammu and Kashmir unit of Shiv Sena (Bala Sahib Thackeray) had reacted to Abdullah’s statement and said that it would hoist the tri-color at Lal Chowk.
Earlier, Abdullah had dared government of India “to hoist the tri-color at Lal Chowk before talking about unfurling it in the Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK)”.
Early morning, the rightwing activist arrived in several vehicles came to commercial centre, Lal Chowk—the historic place known for anti-India demonstrations and where India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had promised plebiscite to the people of the State.
Lal Chowk is seen as one of the major landmarks which has witnessed protests against Indian rule in Kashmir.
The historic place remains draped in concertina wires and troops overlook it to prevent anti-India demonstrations whenever people in Kashmir erupt in protests, or observe shutdown on separatists’ calls.
Kashmiri traders see this attempt to spoil the business environment.
Media Incharge of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMP), Farhan Kitab said that such attempts by rightwing groups is aimed to make business community suffer.
“The trade community is already in a stressful environment and such issues will create more stress in the market,” he said.
The attempt by rightwing activists could have derailed the peace in Lal Chowk had they succeeded to hoist tri-color at city center.
On the development, Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Sigh said that government can’t allow polarizing of situation in Kashmir.
“We will not allow anything that would polarize the situation here and we cannot allow this,” Dy CM told reporters on the sidelines of a Bharatiya Janta Party’s (BJP) public function at Char Chinari, in Srinagar.
Pertinently, Lal Chowk once used to be a central place of politics during the eras of then Dogra ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh and Kashmir’s first Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
It was after the eruption of insurgency in Kashmir that all political and religious processions were banned. In recent times, it has been seen that no mainstream or separatist political party has been allowed to carry out any political activity at Lal Chowk.
Even this year, hundreds of Kashmiri Shia mourners had to face the wrath of forces, when they tried to march through the historic place.