Terming government attitude towards victims of communal frenzy in Kishtwar as 'inhumane', the JKDF leaders on Wednesday said even three weeks after the violence, a large number of families who have been virtually rendered destitute are looking for a helping hand.
Addressing a press conference, JKDF state general secretary Surinder Sharma, founder member Ram Kumar and state secretary Swami Raj, who recently visited the trouble-torn Kishtwar area to assess the situation, said the signs of loot and plunder clearly indicate that everything was planned and selective.
Surinder Sharma said the NC-led government had made loud promises to compensate people for the loss and provide relief to the victims, but on ground nothing has been done. He said during their visit to Kishtwar town, they saw that shops were selectively looted and even put on fire.
Heavy machines, including JCB, were used to break open the shutters and doors, he claimed, adding that government approach was highly intriguing even as the minister of state for home, who also happens to the MLA of Kishtwar, was there along with large police force, he claimed, adding that but little was done to check the miscreants who remained on the prowl for hours before army controlled the situation in the evening.
Sharma, meanwhile, demanded a probe into all these aspects. He said actions of the DC and SSP are under cloud. Despite being the offices of these functionaries, including police station, only few yards from the scene of hooliganism, they remained spectators, he alleged. "A probe by CBI should be initiated against the negative role played by the duo in this whole incident," he demanded.
Describing the prevailing situation, Ram Kumar said, "Most shops have been burnt and looted. A large number of vehicles were selectively put on fire. Many residential houses were also attacked. But it was a strange phenomenon that the government leaders were asking the traders and shopkeepers to resume their work. The question is that where are the shops and goods to resume the trade. Many well-off businessmen have been turned paupers."
Realising the gravity of the crisis, the JKDF voluntarily collected donation Rs 6.5 lakh for the sufferers of these riots. "Although amount collected was insufficient to cater the volume of losses suffered by the victims, but it conveyed message that all the people of Jammu are behind the Kishtwar people and share their grief equally," said Ram Kumar.
Meanwhile, the amount of donation was distributed equally through Beopar Mandal, Kishtwar, among the affected people comprising 97 shopkeepers and next of kin of deceased Arvind Bhagat. The JKDF leaders demanded strengthening of security grid of the minorities and also replacing of SSB bunkers with the CRPF bunkers. They said VDCs should be strengthened and equipped with the latest weapons to tackle the menace terrorism. They also demanded regularisation of all SPOs of the VDCs who despite all odds were taking on the anti-national forces bravely.